Sunday, 3 April 2011

Rosella; Hibiscus sabdariffa; Rosella Jam;

Rosella has lovely soft pink flowers which are also edible. The leaves are edible as well and taste like Sorrel. They can be added to lettuce or other salads.

Here is a link to all the facts about Rosella

The red calyxes holding the seedpod. The calyxes are collected after the flowers have fallen. They should have a nice size, 2-3 days after flowering.The seedpod should still be green not brown and hard. It is used to make the Jelly!

Preparing the calyxes. I cut off the bottom and then it is easily peeled away from the seed pod. P. has made a little tool,to push the seed pod out, but I am quicker cutting off the bottom and the seed pods stay intact.

Here you can see the separated seed pods and the empty calyxes.
Put the seedpods into a pan and cover with water. Cook for about 40 minutes until it jellies nicely.

Here they are bubbling away... (the pods only)

When the jelly is ready add it to the calyxes. Use a sieve to separate the pods from the jelly.  I had a small bowl of calyxes and added 1 cup of sugar and the jelly from the pods and a little more water. Bring to the boil. After 10 minutes my Jam was ready. Do not cook longer then 20 minute as you do not want to lose the brilliant colour. In hindsight I could have used a little more sugar. The jam is sweet and sour, perhaps like the European red currant jam. Some say a little like cranberries, but it does not have the bitterness of cranberries. I think it is tastier.
It can be used as a savory to meat or as jam for breakfast.

Rosella Jam....brilliant!

Photos TS

Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of Hibiscus native to the Old World tropics, used for the production of bast fibre and as an infusion. It is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based sub shrub, growing to 2–2.5 m (7–8 ft) tall. The leaves are deeply three- to five-lobed, 8–15 cm (3–6 in) long, arranged alternately on the stems.
Nutritional Facts
High in anti oxidants with very high levels of two of the most active anthocyanins

The plants are rich in anthocyanins, as well as protocatechuic acid. The dried calyces contain the flavonoids gossypetin, hibiscetine and sabdaretine. The major pigment, formerly reported as hibiscin, has been identified as daphniphylline. Small amounts of myrtillin (delphinidin 3-monoglucoside), Chrysanthenin (cyanidin 3-monoglucoside), and delphinidin are also present. Roselle seeds are a good source of lipid-soluble antioxidants, particularly gamma-tocopherol.

Believe it or not:
"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." 
 Mother Teresa


  1. Yum, rosella is a tasty treat, home canning and jams is a fun way of spreading the joys of the season

  2. I love Rosella jam. Luckily I have a friend who gives me some because there is no way I could make it. I'm so hopeless in the kitchen. It must be so rewarding growing and eating your own produce. We are struggling along with a little veggie patch. We had some Cos lettuce today but Bill said it tasted like grass. I thought it was okay.

  3. Mandy, yes you are so right, thank you for your comment.

    Diane; even the smallest patch counts for growing veggies; no poisons! You have got a beautiful garden. You could grow a Rosella shrub. they are very ornamental. The jam is very easy to make. It is quite nice to prepare and after all is done you can feel very smug! Every few days I gather the red calyxes, separate them from the seedpods and freeze both separately. when I have a small bowl full I make the jam.
    Usually I make just one glass full, they shrink!

  4. Mmmm, love Roselle ; ) I've been drying the calyxes for tea and throwing the seed pods away. Can't wait to try this next. Thanks for the clear instructions.

  5. Beautiful flowers and good explanation, Titania.
    I find Mother Teresa's words so right.
    Happy Tuesday!

  6. I recently bought a packet of Rosella seeds but it says to plant in Spring. (didn't read first)What do you think Titania? Would I just be wasting the seed to plant in SEQ at this time of year?

  7. Yes, over here we boil them in water with sugar - and get a red grape-like tasting drink when love it !

  8. i've had hibiscus tea and it was lovely, but never (so far) hibiscus jam. looks yummy!

  9. Wow, these pictures take me back to my childhood. My mother used to make this. I think more than the taste, the intensity of the colour fascinated me!! Lovely, mouth-watering photos!