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Hibiscus sabdariffa is a member of the Malvaceae family. It is an annual herb that grows to 6 feet or more, stems are glabrous; lower leaves are ovate with the upper leaves being 3-5 palmately lobed. The flowers are axillary or in terminal racemes, the petals are white with a reddish center at the base of the staminal column, the calyx enlargens at maturity and the fruit is fleshy and bright red. It is known as roselle (English), l’oiselle (French), jamaica (Spanish), karkade (Arabic), bissap (Wolof) and dâ (Bambara) among other names.
The calyces are used to make cold and hot beverages in many of the world’s tropical and subtropical countries. In China the seeds are used for their oil and the plant is used for medicinal properties. The leaves and powdered seeds are eaten in West Africa.
Purple-red colour. A well balanced, tart and astringent flavor. Some cranberry notes as well as a slight drying effect. Not excessively tart, acidic or bitter. Should be free of off-flavours and other undesirable spice/botanical notes.