Cranberry Hibiscus

Scientific Name: Hibiscus acetosella

Bahasa Indonesian: Rosella

Batak: Rosella

Basic Information: 

Hibiscus acetosella, the cranberry hibiscus or African rosemallow, is a flowering plant of the genus Hibiscus or rosemallow. The word acetosella is of Latin origin and is derived from an old name for sorrel (Oxalis) which comes from the sour taste experienced when eating the young leaves of the plant.[1] Hibiscus acetosella is also known colloquially as false roselle, maroon mallow, red leaved hibiscus, and red shield hibiscus.[2] It is one of the approximately 200–300 species that are seen in sub-tropic and tropic regions.[2] This ornamental is usually found in abandoned fields or open areas, marshes, and forest clearings.[2] Cranberry hibiscus is a member of a perennial group known as hardy hibiscus.[3] In contrast to the tropical hibiscus, hardy hibiscus can tolerate colder conditions, are more vigorous, longer lasting, and have larger flowers.[3] In colder climates, Hibiscus acetosella is easily an annual, but is often regarded as a perennial to zone 8–11. During one season, the plant can grow 90–170 cm (3.0–5.6 ft) tall and 75 cm (30 in) wide as a shrub-subshrub.[4]


Health Benefits:

  • Reduces High Blood Pressure,
  • Helps Lower Cholesterol,
  • Beneficial Tea for Diabetics,
  • Offers Liver Protection,
  • Anti Cancer Properties,
  • Helps Releive Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression,
  • Benefits Weight Loss,
  • Improves Digestion,
  • Helps Boost the Immune System,
  • Helps Improve Skin Conditions.
  • An infusion of the leaves in water is used as post-fever tonic and as a treatment for anaemia [299].
  • The leaves are crushed and soaked in cold water and the infusion is used for washing babies and young children who have body pains [299,398].


Fun Facts:

  • Leaves are eatable raw or cooked. An acid flavour with a mucilaginous texture, they can be added to salads or used in soups, stews etc[183,299,308]. They can be cooked with other foods to give them an acid sorrel-like flavour[183]. Yellow-flowered types with green leaves are most popular for this purpose, but red-flowered types with dark red leaves are also eaten[299]. Types with decorative pinkish-brown leaves are used in fresh salads, being appreciated for their special rather sour taste[299].
  • The red flowers and possibly also the leaves are occasionally used to make a tea, somewhat similar to the use of the red calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa[299].
  • Root – it is edible but is very fibrous[144]. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour[144,299].