Product: Hibiscus Flowers, Whole
Latin Name: Hibiscus sabdariffa
Plant Family: Malvaceae
Other Names: Roselle, Rosella, Kharkady, Karkadé, Karkadi, Karkadeh, Carcade, Flor de Jamaica, Lumanda, Jamaican Sorrel, Tengamora, Bissap Rouge & Rozelle.
Description: Our hibiscus flowers come from the Roselle plant, native to India and Malaysia, where it is commonly cultivated. It has been successfully established throughout the Tropics and Subtropics of both hemispheres and in many areas of the Caribbean and Central America. It is an annual, woody, shrub growing to a height of 2–2.5 metres. The leaves are deeply lobed, smooth and mid-green in colour, 8–15 cm in length. The flowers are 8–10 cm in diameter, white to pale yellow in colour with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, they have a stout fleshy calyx at the base of the flower, and it is these calyxes form part of the whole flowers sold.
The dried flowers can be used to add flavour and natural colour to cocktails, herbal teas, whole flowers which contain the calyx contain more natural pectin than the petals alone. The whole flowers are made into Roselle jam which is eaten in Queensland, Australia. The petals can be used to obtain a yellow dye.