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Rose Hibiscus

Hibiscus acetosella

Cranberry hibiscus, African rosemallow, False roselle, Maroon mallow, Red leaved hibiscus, Red shield hibiscus (Eng.)

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Creates decorative landscapes, hedges, beds, containers and a pot plant feature. A charming everred-nevergreen shrub. Its high resistance to root-knot nematodes makes it an excellent crop in place after tomatoes and other solanaceous vegetables that are affected by nematodes. It is used for medicinal purposes and in culinary.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Seeds - allow seed heads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds. Pick leaves at the tips that when soft. Flowers can be picked when freshly open.

Propagation

Seed
Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Seedlings will appear 3-4 days. Plant out seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into early summer.
Cuttings
Take small softwood cuttings in the Autumn to overwinter for next spring.

Special features

Hedge plant
Grown as a hedge as well as a barrier.
Pot plant
Excellent pot plant in well-drained soil.
Indoor plant
Suitable for growing indoor in well-drained soil under direct sunlight.
Attracts useful insects
Bees and butterflies.

Geography

Origin
East and Central Africa, possibly native to Angola.

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
Infusion of the leaves in water is used as post-fever tonic and a treatment for anaemia. Crushed leaves and soaked in cold water, the infusion is used for washing babies/young children with body pains
Edible
Pinkish-brown leaves is added to dishes raw or cooked (acid flavour, sour taste and mucilaginous texture). Red flowers and leaves make flavourfull tea. Roots fibrous, mucilaginous and little flavour.

Personality

Family
Malvaceae
Flower colour
Pink, rose, mauve, cream, tan
Scent
None

Problems

Japanese Beetles will skeletonize the leaves.

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