By Maryann Readal
With its bright red calyces, green leaves, and okra-like flowers, Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as red zinger, red sorrel, sour tea, Florida cranberry, and roselle, makes an unusual and striking accent plant in the garden. On a recent trip to Montreal, I was surprised to see red zinger hibiscus growing at the back of formal garden borders. I thought it was a plant that grew only in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Apparently, it does well in cooler climates as well. We don’t normally think of red zinger hibiscus as a landscape plant, but indeed it can be.
And of course, an interesting side note to this hibiscus is that the whole plant has many uses. The red calyces surrounding the seed can be removed and dried and used to make a refreshing hot or cold tea. The fresh calyces can be chopped and used in fruit salads…
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