Hibiscus Species, Red Sorrel, Roselle, Florida Cranberry, Indian Sorrel, Jamaican Sorrel

Hibiscus sabdariffa var. rubra

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

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

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Melbourne, 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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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 16, 2019, ashleysgarden from Davenport, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

the whole plants color is more impressive (and reminiscent of lorepetelum = big +) than the smaller and more subtlely colored (more pale but not in a wow way) flowers. it grows tall, not very wide, and fast. so far the seeds seem to hold for a long time on the plant, and virtually every flower is well polinated and goes to seed. i twisted (well attached) some off when hard and dry from shortening the bush at least 6' tall back towards half that, and tossed seeds on ground. around the base of a pot later set on top that is regularly watered (so moisture higher in my sandy soil than exposed to the heat), a bunch of seedlings have cropped up in the circular form.

i think it possibly will be on the extremely self sowing side. part of me wants to use for its color and part o... read more


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


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.


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.