Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So, its roselle's turn!

Kakak, the eldest daughter came over for a weekend with her husband and two of her own. Kakdah, kakak's mother or bangchik's wife was so happy. Kakak brought with her roselle seeds all the way from Kedah. She said, those were taken from her neighbor's plant. I germinated a few and surprisingly roots appear the next day and within 3 days, the leaves opened up!... I had grown them in rows where our tomato plants used to be, sharing the little bed with other veggies ....

It is true how fresh seeds result in excellent germination. Roselles are fine example. Seeds bought in little packets from stores has varying success. My attempt at sunflowers was total failure. ... Yes, we are learning all the time...

So, roselle growing will add to the glossary of plants and gardening experience in our little vegetable garden in Putrajaya.

still in little pots

in raised bed, going to 3rd leaves.

all of them


Some basic information

I can never imagine,
roselles are grown in large plantation
as far as eyes can see.


Background information.

1. Story of Roselle
Traditionally, Roselle (of the Hibiscus family and also known as Hibiscus Sabdariffa) was used in teas or mixed with other herbs to be served as a hot drink or health tonic.
Roselle Farms began a development programme in Australia that resulted in several innovative and exciting new products. These products are Nature's New Ingredients for the Food, Drink and Dairy Industries.
Roselle Farms identified Malaysia as having the optimal growing conditions and variety of Hibiscus for producing world-class quality products. To ensure natural goodness is retained, the Company practices Best Farm Management where no pesticides or herbicides are used during the growing cycle ~ ROSELLE FARMS
2. Roselle, My cup of Zing

Like other hibiscus, this robust shrub is easy to grow. Its lovely pale blossoms tinged with pink are a favorite of those big black carpenter bees, but I don’t mind sharing. I’m after only the calyx, which makes a delicious tea – it’s the main ingredient in the Red Zinger you buy in the store, and it’s used in favorite beverages all over the world. ~ HAWAII GARDENING: Roselle, My Cup of Zing
3. Roselle
The flowers aren’t noticeable, or at least not like most of the more showy hibiscus blossoms. Modest, two-to three-inch diameter flowers, off-white to pale yellow, open daily, then quickly turn into seed pods. It’s the calyx, the covering of the seed pod which is the red, fleshy part, that is used for flavoring and cooking. The flowers can be added to salads and even the leaves have the pleasantly sour flavor, so you can gather the smaller, tender leaves to use in salads. The calyxes are gathered while still plump and crisp, into baskets to dry. If left on the plant, the flavor and coloring agents disappear as the seeds ripen, so the harvesting has to be done every few days as the flowering continues. Once dried, the deep, red calyxes can be kept stored in airtight containers for months, even years, until ready for use. ~ Roselle by Jim Long

4. Roselle calyxses

The row of Roselle plants are fruiting with these lovely red calyxes. I havn't tried making a drink with them cos' I heard that they are pretty tangy sour. I know anything that's sour has lots of Vitamin C. I will collect one to try soon. I also heard that the leaves can be eaten in a salad and they taste a bit tangy too. Now wait till I make my salad first. ~ Roselle Calyxes


  1. thanks for all this info - I visited a friend in Laos and was given a delicious refreshing drink. She called it Rosella, but now I think she was confusing it with the bird. Sunflowers grow well here, maybe they don't like the tropics.

  2. beautiful and fascinating. good luck with the seedlings.

  3. Hi Bangchik, good information on Roselle ;-0 TQ

    Btw, about those seeds sold in packets, I heard about failures from other gardeners too. Which brand do you always go for? I notice brands available here are 'Serbajadi', 'Gardenic', 'GreenWorld' and 'Horti'. I am not sure which one is good (flower plant seeds).

  4. I've heard of red zinger..but never roselle. You've added to my plant vocabulary again.

  5. Very interesting. I've had Red Zinger tea, but never heard of roselle either.

  6. Rosellas - thank you for letting us know about this plant, I did not know.

    Marigolds- I did not know the name in English but I have them in my garden every year and have problemslike you with the snail/slugs. I have found that if you let the plant stay indoors until it is 20-15 centimeter high - they will not eat it. It must be that they taste best when they are young.
    Good luck and hope that the present will soon come for you I have sent it.
    /Maria Berg, Sweden

  7. > Catmint
    Rosella could just be about right in their language.... and as far as sunflower is concerned, i have not given up yet. Another shot soon with new seeds.

    > Mindy
    I think these little roselles will grow well by the look of it, and I notice they really grow fast!

  8. > Stephanie
    I dont know which brand is the better one. Fresh seeds from matured fruits would be the best.

    > Mlc
    Red zinger, roselle are just names for the same plant. When we were kids we just called these plants as "asam"..

  9. > Kim and Victoria
    Zinger and roselle, different names, but taste the same..

    > Maria
    We are learning something new here. Snails love baby marigolds, not the bigger and more matured ones... Thank you!

  10. Wow! What a gorgeous plant, I love it's sweet little flowers and berries, so decorative and so useful too. Wonderful plant, never hard of it before. Thanks for all the info and good luck with your own miniture Roselle Farm!

  11. > Carrie
    Miniature Roselle Farm... I like it. Everything else is miniature, even my surviving marigolds. So the title "my little vegetable garden still holds....

    ~ bangchik

  12. I've never heard of Roselle before. The drink looks so refreshing. Even though I keep honeybees, I am terrified of those big black carpenter bees. I'd never make it on a Roselle farm! Such a lovely post! ~ Beegirl

  13. > burbsandthebees

    I will keep updating on how our miniature Roselle Farm will fare over the weeks. Thanks for dropping and commenting.

    ~ bangchik

  14. Thanks for posting this! Very informative. I'd never heard of roselles before, but I do love the look, smell, and flavor of hibiscus. I'll keep my eye out for imported roselle products...

  15. > graduallygreener
    Ok.. I will update roselle regularly so some of us may see...

    ~ bangchik

  16. roselle is known in the Caribbean as Sorel and used as a traditional Christmas drink. I love the syrup and the jam. The jam is very easy to make just boil the red flowers with some sugar and spices. It can replace cranberry sauce and tastes like it.

  17. P.S. there is also a white one available

  18. > islandgal246

    Thanks for the info... Kakdah love suggestions on what to do when they start fruiting.

    ~ bangchik


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