Common names: White Roselle, White Rosell hibiscus, White Sorrel
Scientific name: Hibiscus sabdariffa
Plant history & use:
Unlike the more commonly known red roselle hibiscus, the white roselle hibiscus has green-white sepals (what is normally referred to as the "fruit" of roselle hibiscus) more deep yellow flowers and green stem. The fruits are also smaller with white roselle, but the total yield is higher than from regular red roselle.
The fruits and leaves are used in the same way as fruit and leaves from ordinary roselle - however, the juice becomes transparent / amber colored instead of the deep red color of ordinary roselle.
Hibiscus sabdariffa originated in Africa and spread from there to Asia and the Caribbean.
Most popularly used to make juice (Agua de Jamaica) from the fresh sepals, but you can also let them dry to make hibiscus tea. Dried sepals are also used as a flavoring agent for Gin. The fresh leaves can also be used as a sour addition in salads or in soups of an Asian character.
In Asia, the leaves are usually fried, made into soup or used for prepared dishes with e.g. fish, chicken and beef.
Roselle is also often used for its health-enhancing properties.
Roselle thrives in bright locations. Grow indoors in a bright window and feel free to move outside in the summers. Alternatively, sow the seeds directly in open ground when the risk of frost is over.
Roselle is grown commercially in one-year periods. In nature, however, the plant is perennial and it can also become so when grown at home. Wintering in a bright location is a prerequisite for perennials in Sweden. Grows into a small tree / tall shrub.
Soak the seeds 1 day in advance. Sow in moist soil and preferably cover with plastic with small holes in it to retain moisture. Optimum temperature for rapid germination is between 25-30 ºC , but the seeds germinate even at 20+ ºC . If necessary, use a heating mat for better germination conditions.
Plant position: sun
Height: up to 2 meters
Germination time: 7-30 days