Valley Permaculture Alliance

Hi All, I'm trying to track down Hibiscus sabdariffa var. sabdariffa race ruber to start growing my own hibiscus tea.  I taste tested some leaves through the Summer Greens program last year and expected the seeds to be in the latest batch of trials this summer, but they weren't!  So I'm looking around to see if anyone here has this plant and what success they have had with it. 

I've got a call into the Extension Office for a referral to the Master Gardener who grew the plant last year and to see if I can get some seeds from him... either way, I'd like to hear if anyone else has been growing this plant and what your experiences have been?

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Hi Liz, can't help you at the moment with seed or plants, but I figured you were talking about true Roselle and found a lot of discussion on Purdue site.

Richters has the seed.

And Bakers:

I ordered some seeds, in case I don't get connected through the Master Gardeners.  Hopefully by the end of summer I'll have some seeds to share with the group!

Liz--have you tracked down seeds?  I was at Baker's Nursery about two months ago and they said they were propagating some sabdariffa and said it would be ready to sell about now. tho' I only asked about Hibiscus sabdariffa not the var. sabdariffa race ruber. Are all of the sabdariffa edible--as in the kind used to make the tea?  I get mine at Ranch Market.  ridiculously cheap, but of course, I'd love to grow my own.

Yes, I did.  The first seedlings I planted were destroyed when the chickens tipped over my flat  :(  my fault for putting it close enough to the edge of the table outside for them to jump up on.

But I've planted more and expect to see some results soon.

I can't say if all sabdariffa are edible, I didn't think to look at Ranch Market for the bulk tea - but that's a great idea.

there's a ginormous bin of it at the one on 16th st and roosevelt, right next to the giant bin of  sucks about the chickens and the flat...would love to hear how the new batch goes :)

Maybe a silly question - but is there a reason why this wouldn't grow here?

(I ask this knowing perfectly well where we live).

Brian it is a tropical / subtropical type rated zone 9-11 - we are mostly in zone 9b.  It will be frost sensitive at least for the first couple of years.

I know it can grow here well because it was trialled during the Master Gardner's Summer Greens program and was a delicious green plus the sepals are used to make tea that I love (and seem to be going slowly broke purchasing at the store)  :)

Liz I would be happy to purchase some seeds from you if have extra :-)

I have some seeds. I grew it last year from seeds I saved from the rare fruit growers garden at the cooperative extension. I can bring you some next week Liz, sounds like you already have some on the way though.

I grew it last year in a less than ideal spot and it did okay. This year I'm growing it in a better location, though the soil may not be so great, so we'll see. They do VERY well here (especially if they are in fertile, well-watered soil). If any of you have every had Jamaica (huh-MY-ka) at Mexican restaurants, this is the tea made from this plant. You used to also be able to buy the sepals dried at Trader Joe's  (I haven't checked in awhile, they might still be there). Liz if you're jonesing for some, I hear food city/ranch market places sell the dried flowers inexpensively.

Great, thanks Rachel!  I was hoping to get some good genetic variety and if I get some of your seed plus what comes in the mail, that should do it (let me know if you want to try any of mine as well).  I need to line up a baby sitter so I can attend the meeting in person next week (Dan's out of town again).  I have had Jamaica before and really want to try making it at home from my own flowers (after watching this video I was inspired to actually do it instead of think about it

Catherine - I'd love to share and will let you know when the package arrives.  :)

Thank you Liz - that would be great - growing up in NJ we have two cities Roselle and Roselle Park that I learned as an adult were named for the flower :-)  Also we had Linden named for the tree.  (We also had so many places and areas named with American Indian names - you grow up with them and you just take the name for granted and don't always know the origin.)


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