San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings


  for MAY

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

Products > Hibiscus sabdariffa
Hibiscus sabdariffa - Roselle

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Malvaceae (w/Bombacaceae & Sterculeacea)
Origin: Angola (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 2-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle) - A tender perennial upright subshrub often treated as an annual with rapid growth to 3 to 6 feet tall by about half the width with 3 to 5 inch long green maple like leaves that are deeply 3 or 5 lobed. In other climates the flowering tends to be later in fall but here in coastal California flowering commences in early summer with the showy 3 inch wide flowers having white to pale yellow petals with a strong red eye and a swollen red calyx at its base. Each flower lasts but for one day but is replaced by subsequent blooms so that the plant is showy for several months. Plant in full sun and irrigate regularly. Hardy to 25 °F. The early cultivation of Hibiscus sabdariffa makes it difficult to ascertain its habitat of origin but it is thought that it came from West Africa and possibly around Angola. The name Hibiscus comes from the Greek 'hibiskos' which was used for marsh mallow and was possibly derived from the ibis, a stork that is noted as feeding on some species of mallow. Though originating in Africa the specific epithet comes from a West Indian vernacular name for this species as this plant made its way there with the African slave trade as early as the 16th century, where the stems were used for the production of bast and the deep magenta-colored calyces of the flowers for a tea known as carcade, which later became more widely known as Roselle or saríl or Jamaica (flor de Jamaica) as it spread into Central America and also as sorrel in English-speaking areas of the Caribbean. This tea was drank both hot and cold and has a tart, cranberry-like flavor. In Senegal, in tropical western Africa this teas is known as Bissap and is considered the national drink. The dried calyces, sold as Flor de Jamaica, are available in health food and Hispanic food stores in the U.S. for making the tea or cold drink commonly here called Jamaica. Other common names for this plant include Maple-Leaf Hibiscus, Florida Cranberry and October Hibiscus. 

This information about Hibiscus sabdariffa displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.