I’ve become quite obsessed with trying recipes for hibiscus tea, hibiscus curd, hibiscus jelly, and many more hibiscus treats since our hibiscus bushes are bursting with calyx (pods). We’ve grown edible hibiscus for several years and I’m truly amazed by the many traditional hibiscus recipes there and by people’s unique twists to those recipes.
Are all hibiscus plants edible?
The short answer is no one has test all the hundreds of hibiscus varieties, so we can’t say positively one way or the other. However, some have been tested or have been traditionally used for centuries and are considered safe for most people.
The three most popular edible hibiscus varieties are Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), Cranberry Hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella), and Hibiscus sabdariffa also known as Roselle, Jamaican Sorrel, and hibiscus flowers.
Hibiscus sabdariffa is the most common hibiscus used in recipes for hibiscus tea and is often sold as hibiscus “flowers”. While the flower is edible, it’s technically not the part that is dried and used. The part that is used is the calyx with is the covering of the seed pod which is left after the flower falls off the plant.
All the hibiscus recipes I’m sharing in this post are made with Hibiscus sabdariffa, aka Jamaican sorrel, roselle, and sometimes just identified as hibiscus flowers in the recipe.
Where can you find hibiscus for using in recipes?
I’m going to suggest you try to grow edible hibiscus if your climate allows. It needs warmth and a long growing season and is grown as an annual in most areas. But it’s extremely easy to grow and is beautiful.
If you need to buy hibiscus you will probably be able to find some small packages of dried hibiscus “flowers” in your local grocery store, especially if they have an international section. I’ve recently seen them in our local grocery.
If you you can’t find them locally, you can purchase them online. They might say “hibiscus flowers” or “roselle” on the label. But they should also say Hibiscus sabdariffa.
Recipes for Hibiscus Tea and Other Tasty Hibiscus Treats
Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as Jamaican sorrel or roselle, is often marketed under the name "hibiscus flowers" and is used to make hibiscus tea and other hibiscus treats. This list includes recipes for hibiscus tea and other drinks, plus recipes such as hibiscus curd and jams.
Hibiscus curd can be made with fresh or dried hibiscus the color will be a little different but the taste will be similar, tangy and sweet. The curd pairs perfectly with a from scratch dark chocolate cake.
A grown up’s ice cream float, this Hibiscus Strawberry Margarita Ice Cream Float is simple to put together and is bursting with delicious fruity, citrus and strawberry flavour, and topped with a salted lime sherbet and lemon lime soda!
I received my first CSA box last week and it included Roselle. I really did not know what it was but was excited to find out.
Thank you, thank you for all the information and excellent recipes! I can’t wait to try some of them!
Now I’m hoping my box will have more next week!
Sunday 15th of November 2020
What a fun addition to a CSA box! I hope you get more next time too!
Tuesday 31st of March 2020
Thank you so much for including my Super C Hibiscus Berry Smoothie in this beautiful roundup!