Seeds to Success

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Hibiscus sabdariffa (Rosella) is the Dingo of the bush food world - argued by scientists and historians as having come to Australia at a later time in our history but being here long enough to have earned its place in the Aussie icon realm. Being a pantropical plant, Rosella is an annual plant that occus in Sri Lanka and Egypt with the former using its leaves in cooking and the latter using its flowers to make hibiscus tea. In northern Australia especially where Rosella occurs in the wild, Rosella jam is a mainstay of local food markets in northern Australia. Rosella grows to a height of 2 to 2.5 metres high. Its leaves can be used as alternatives to fig leaves when wrapping rice. Rosella is an annual (ie lasts for only one season) so save its seed for next year's harvest. Rosella reaches a height of 2 metres in the ground but it will also flower and fruit in a pot. Rosella needs full sun. Its fruit can be eaten fresh or gathered up for jams which is how it is usually used. Being an annual, Rosella will die after fruiting so ensure you keep a few fruits to save seed for the following year's crop. Note that if you plant Rosella when it is in fruit, you don't actually get any more fruit. It has to be planted when a seedling in leaf and not in fruit.  

Hibiscus sabdariffa (Rosella)

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