#BlackHistoryEats / Day 23 / Roselle

Source: mylittlevegetablegarden.blogspot.com

Source: mylittlevegetablegarden.blogspot.com


  • Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) also known as Florida Cranberry, Guinea Sorrel, Hibiscus, Indian Sorrel, Jamaican Sorrel, Sour-Sour (and other names!) is a West African species of the tropical Hibiscus plant 
  • It's now widely grown in India and Southeast Asia as well as throughout Africa
  • Roselle was introduced into the United States in the 19th centruy 
  • The plant can grow up to 8 feet tall. When the flower begins to fade, the reddish calyx (petals) swell up with water and ripen into a fruit


  • Roselle is overall rich in many vitamins and minerals common to most fruit, but is particularly high in iron, calcium and vitamin C
  • Roselle has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The root is used as a laxative and the juice from the leaves have been uses to treat ulcers and sores. 


  • The whole plant (leaves, seed, roots, and calyx) has edible use
  • The petals/calyces are rich in citric acid and pectin and has been used to make jams (here's a recipe!)
  • Some cultures consider the seeds to be an aphrodisiac 
  • All parts of the vegetables are often finely cut and added to sauces in different countries 
  • The tender green leaves are used as spinach in a fish and rice dish called thiéboudieune in Senegal as well as the main ingredient in making curry in Myanmar.
  • In Mexican markets, bags of dried calyces are sold as "Flor de Jamaica"
  • Roselle (or sorrel as some call it) is the key ingredient in a popular sweet/sour/spicy Jamaican drink