Hibiscus

When we visited with gardening expert Bill Finch in the spring, there were plate-sized hibiscus blooms in his yard…but Bill says he’s partial to the hibiscus of fall.  He says they have a special quality that few folks are aware of: they’re edible!

Yup.  And of course, it just wouldn’t be an episode of Plain Gardening if Bill doesn’t make me eat something weird.  The hibiscus known as Panama Red (no relation to the old song) is actually delicious.  Another beauty is roselle, and the leaves are tasty…but the calyx is what is used to make Red Zinger tea!  In Florida, they also make a cranberry-like sauce from them.  And roselle grows wonderfully well here.  Turk’s cap isn’t edible by humans, but hummingbirds love ‘em.

And one more hibiscus that’s edible is—get ready—okra!

Even though hibiscus is both beautiful and delicious in fall, you’ll still need to sow the seeds in spring.

Learn more about hibiscus by calling Bill’s radio show Sunday mornings from 9-11 on 106.5FM, or email plaingardening@yahoo.com.

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