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Hibiscus (is all hibiscus created equal?) — The Grow Network Community
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Hibiscus (is all hibiscus created equal?)

DesireeDesiree Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

I have hibiscus growing but I have never seen my calyx turn red. The closest id I could get for species is Hibiscus moscheutos (based on picture and iNaturalist). Is this then not medicinal or useable for teas?


  • HassenaHassena Posts: 189 ✭✭✭

    Beautiful hibiscus! That indeed looks correct. We’ve grown some large hibiscus called Lord Baltimore too

    Personally I’ve only ever grown and use tea hibiscus, hibiscus sabdariffa.

    I believe there was some talk on one of the forums about rose of Sharon being used medicinally.

    On a side note some hibiscus is toxic to dogs . Hopefully some more folks will have more suggestions and experience.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,099 admin

    @torey Here is a subject for you!

    I know that Rosealee did a piece on hibiscus & mentioned that it is a specific variety used. Here is a snippet of a summary saved from one of her emails.

  • toreytorey Posts: 1,334 admin

    So many species of Hibiscus!

    Hibiscus sabadariffa is the species most commonly used for tea. Hibiscus acetosella may also be used. Other Hibiscus species have medicinal properties but are different from these two that are commonly used in Hibiscus tea. For example, Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) has stomachic and ophthalmic properties which are not listed for the two species used for teas.

    Hibiscus moscheutos is listed as an emollient and demulcent with an affinity for urinary infections.

    So, know your species before you use any Hibiscus medicinally.

    Wish I could grow them!

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 118 ✭✭✭

    Check the internet, but I believe all hibiscus are edible. Rose of Sharon are toxic to dogs, but okay for humans.

    I have one at the gate next to the cars from which I pluck a flower for breakfast.

  • ltwickeyltwickey Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    That is a beautiful plant! I wish I could grow hibiscus in my current location. I have tried the last 2 years to get it to grow in CT, but no joy!! Maybe when I get down to AL!!

  • smik123smik123 Southeastern, AlabamaPosts: 55 ✭✭✭

    My daughter has beautiful bushes and I took some clippings hoping to get beautiful bushes of my own. It was a long hot car ride and they look mighty dried out and have them container planted in the house in Southern Alabama. Hoping that they will pull through.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,099 admin

    I have a hibiscus growing in the house. It flowers every so often. I have often wondered what type it is, but wouldn't have a clue how to find out for sure. Sometimes I have wondered if maybe it isn't truly a hibiscus, but instead, something similar that we are just calling a hibiscus. I certainly am a newbie when it comes to herbalism. I know a lot, yet so very little, I'm afraid. I keep trying to retain whatever I come across, but it is hard to remember everything!

    Now, I have been wondering...the calyces are usually red in the teas. My hibiscus never has that. The flower falls off before any seed pod forms. The flowers are red, though, like any others that I tend to see here inside homes. Does it need anything super special to form the seed pod? A bee, another plant, different environmental conditions, other?

    Should I be looking for medicinal seeds/seedlings depending on what I want it for? Then...will it work to grow it indoors?

    I sound like I am talking in circles. Haha. Maybe I should quit staring at a screen this evening. 🙄

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 222 ✭✭✭

    @torey Please elaborate on the ophthalmic uses for Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus). Does one use it as a tea? An eyewash?

  • toreytorey Posts: 1,334 admin

    @Gail H I'm afraid I don't know that much about the medicinal uses of Rose of Sharon. I was quoting from a text, just for comparisons sake with the other Hibiscus species. It says to use it as a decoction but doesn't say if it taken internally or used as an eyewash. It is used more in Ayurvedic medicine and TCM than Western Herbalism. Western Herbal Medicine is more of a focus for me and although I have taken a couple of basic courses in both Ayurveda and TCM I am by no means experienced in either modality.

    @stephanie447 has just completed Ayurvedic training so maybe she could offer some more insights on how to use Rose of Sharon.

  • annbeck62annbeck62 Posts: 63 ✭✭✭

    The one I grow I believe is called cranberry hibiscus. After the flower blooms the roselle gets hard and can be used for tea and jams. The leaves are a beautiful maroon color and are edible. They have a tart flavor and can be used in salads or smoothies.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    I have grown roselle in a pot before. I left mine go to seed so I can plant those for a few years to come. They can get huge in Phoenix if they are planted in the ground. I hear some even make jelly out of the calyxes.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love the Thai Red Roselle, pictured in @LaurieLovesLearning post above. The calyx can be made into tea and jam...if you're interested I'll dig out the youtube guy from Australia and post it. He is fun to watch and the batch he made is interesting to watch and mouth watering and totally eye [email protected]!!

    I"ve grown in in Okla but it would have to be taken in over the winter here and taken back outside in spring left to come to fruition in the okla heat..and hopefully then I would have caylxs ready to harvest and use...

  • kfotokfoto Posts: 21 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz would love to know about the guy from australia. For some reason I can understand and retain more knowledge from that accent. lol

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @kfoto ASk and ye receive: But brace yourself...this man looks a whole lot like Russel Crowe and I find myself having a hard time going back and forth from eye candy to eye candy between the roselle and the man...lol rof

  • stephanie447stephanie447 Ayurvedic Practitioner Annapolis, MDPosts: 66 ✭✭✭

    It's not a typical Ayurvedic herb, not one that we studied in Ayurvedic Herbalism. According to Joyful Belly, it is astringent and cooling, so it would be good for Pitta and excess heat. Not so good for people with a lot of Vata aggravation.

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