Raw Roselle Leaves Are Edible
Roselle is the name of the fruit produced by the roselle plant. Roselle is likely a misheard name of the French name "oseille de guinée". Its botanical name is Hibiscus sabdariffa.

It can grow up to as tall as a man. It has long leaf stalks. The upper surface of a leaf stalk is red in colour and the bottom surface is green. Its fruits are 5-valved capsules containing seeds. The capsule splits open when mature and dry. The plant has no thorn. With its dark-red calyces and 3 to 5-lobe palmate leaves, it has artistic value.

It is a tropical herb. It can be propagated by seeds or cuttings. Cuttings result in shorter plants and they will produce flowers earlier. Due to its size, a pot should only have one plant. Roselle needs a lot of direct sunlight to grow well so it will not survive in a balcony that has no direct sunlight. It is an annual herb so to prolong its life, before its fruits turn old, pick them away. Pruning its terminal bud increases branching that leads to higher yield.

Its leaf tastes a bit sour. It can be eaten raw in salads or together with rice. Take the terminal buds and younger leaves, which are tenderer and less sour.

The dark-red thick calyx around the fruit is edible. Boiling the calyces produces a red solution.

Its seeds can be used for feeding chicken.

Posted: 2016-11-26; updated: 2017-02-18 by Ong Seng Aun.
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