Hibiscus sabdariffa
‘Thai Red’

Photo courtesy of Invertzoo

Grow your own Hibiscus tea! This edible Hibiscus species is wonderfully ornamental and makes a pungent and delicious herbal tea. Forming a 3-5’ tall shrub, with slightly cupped, toothed, dark-green foliage, come early Summer it produces masses of eye-catching 3” pale pink flowers with a dark eye. It’s the chubby, dark red calyxes that persist after the flowers fall that are harvested for tea. High in Vitamin C, they can be used in a plethora of recipes such as salsas, baked goods, beverages, jellies, etc. The leaves can also be used in stews, curries, chutneys, or even just steamed. Plant in fertile well-drained soil in full sun. Give room for it to fill out as this will provide the greatest abundance of flowers. Harvest calyxes when freshly formed. In zones 8 and below it can be successfully grown as an annual, or overwintered indoors. Butterflies and hummers!

Curious Plantsman

Full Sun
Average Water

Perennial Shrub
USDA zones 9-11
(annual elsewhere)