Hibiscus sabdariffa

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  subsp. var.  
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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Hibiscus sabdariffa, Linn. (H. rosella, Hort.). Jamaica Sokrel. Roselle. Strong annual, 5-7 ft. high, nearly glabrous, the sts. terete and reddish: root-lvs. ovate and undivided, the upper ones digitately 3-parted, the side lobes sometimes again lobed; lobes lanceolate-oblong and crenate-lentate: fls. solitary and almost sessile in the axils, much shorter than the long lf.- stalks; calyx and bracts red and thick, less than half the length of the yellow corolla. Old World tropics. Gn. 66, p. 428.—Widely cult, in the tropics, and now grown somewhat in S. Fla. and S. Calif, for the fleshy calyxes, which, when cooked, make an excellent sauce or jelly with the flavor of cranberry. The green seed- pod is not edible. The juice from the calyxes makes a cooling acid drink. It thrives in hot, dry climates.

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