Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Florida Cranberry, Roselle
Hibiscus sabdariffa var. rubra

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Species: sabdariffa var. rubra

» View all varieties of Hibiscus

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Hibiscus sabdariffa var. rubra by Floridian

By revlar
Thumbnail #2 of Hibiscus sabdariffa var. rubra by revlar


1 positive
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative laughingwillow On May 20, 2013, laughingwillow from Englewood, FL wrote:

Horribly invasive in South Florida (zone 9b). Do not plant, do not give away. Pretty flower and you can eat the leaves (so what?) but under no circumstances will you be glad you unleashed this monster in your yard. Worse than brazilian pepper worse than any weed

Positive Campfiredan On Jun 29, 2009, Campfiredan from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This grows well a bit south of my area in northern Florida but since it blooms late in the year (November) the frosts usually get it before I get any ripe calyxes. There is a variety named "Temprano" which blooms 20 days earlier than the species but I can't find it (anyone know where you can get it?). When I've gotten harvests before the first frost it is great for making a nice tea.

Neutral Farmerdill On Dec 26, 2006, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Another popular leafy green vegetable from Andhra Pradesh popularly known there as gongoora or gongura. Also known as Indian sorrel, Jamaican sorrel, red sorrel, Florida cranberry, rosella, and Ambada (Ambad bhaji) in Hindi.
This tangy vegetable grows upto 8" tall and has edible lobed leaves. The stems can be reddish. Another important edible part is the fleshy sepal (calyx), which is intense red and tastes acidic. Sometimes used as a cranberry substitute it is used to make jelly and juice. The leaves and young stems are eaten raw in salads or cooked as a vegetable. It is also known to be a mild laxative and mild diuretic.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Los Angeles, California
Alachua, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Chiefland, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Crestview, Florida
Deland, Florida
Englewood, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Hobe Sound, Florida
Holiday, Florida
Homosassa, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lake Placid, Florida
Largo, Florida
North Palm Beach, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Thonotosassa, Florida
Titusville, Florida
Venice, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
Wimauma, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Barbourville, Kentucky
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Forest Hills, New York
Memphis, Tennessee
Liberty Hill, Texas

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