Ruby Hibiscus is my tea of choice for making Kombucha.
Be warned, wear gloves when harvseting the flowers of this plant. There are tiny hairs on the calyxes and stems that will poke into your skin. It feels like fiberglass splinters and takes a few days for the feeling to go away. ***
In the food forest, I use hibiscus as a pioneer plant in new sections of the food forest.
The plant can be used for chop and drop for most of the season and it will still
produce a bounty of flowers to be harvested for tea in the fall.
Its a great pollinator and attract beneficial insects.
The scientific name of this plant is Hibiscus radiatus.
Some of the common names are Monarch Rosemallow. Ruby hibiscus, and October Rose
The experts say that this plant is hardy as a perennial from zones 9-11 and may be grown as an annual or in containers in cooler climates.
My experience is that Ruby grows as a self seeding annual even in zone 9b.
Ruby needs a long growing season for the flowers pods to completely mature.
It blooms when there is 11-12 hours of darkness every day, which is in mid to late October in zone 9b.
The fruits (calyx) mature in November through December.
Ruby Hibiscus is a low maintennace plant that grows from 3-10 feet tall.
It requires 6 or more hours of full sun.
It is not picky about soil. It does well in clay, loamy and sandy soils.
It prefers an acific to neutral, well drained soil. It will tolerate occasional flooding and standing water.
The purple Ruby Hibiscus flowers are highly ornamental.
The flowers, leaves, and calyxes are edible and considered as a natural remedy throughout the world.
The leaves are eaten raw in salads. The flowers and calyxes are typically made into a tea or other drink.
This is true for most, if not all, hibiscus species.
For more information, please watch the video until the very end.
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