Roselle is a species of Hibiscus probably native to West Africa, used for the production of bast fibre and as an infusion, in which it may be known as carcade. It is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based subshrub, growing to 2–2.5 m tall.
Native to tropical Africa, roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is common in the tropics worldwide. Growing roselle plants from cuttings is another option, though the resulting plants tend not to produce as many flowers, which is what they’re often grown for. The hibiscus-like flowers are beautiful, but it’s the calyx – the bright red sheath that opens up to reveal that flower – that is so prized for its flavor. Harvest the calyces when they’re still tender (about 10 days after the flowers appear). They can be eaten raw in salads, or boiled in water in a ¼ fruit to water ratio and strained to make a delicious and refreshing juice. The leftover pulp can be used to make jams and pies. The flavor is very similar to cranberry, but less bitter.