Hibiscus sabdariffa

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Name and publication()

Hibiscus sabdariffa L., Sp. Pl. 2: 695 (1753).

Description()

Pods of the Indian-sorrel or Jamaica-sorrel are widely used as “fillers” in imported potpourri. The capsules are loculicidally 5-valved, almost globular, 1.5-2.5 cm long x 1.5-2 cm wide, subtended by remnants of leafy bracts and often on stalks up to 3 cm long. The dark red flowers (in their native state) are rarely encountered in potpourri because they collapse in on themselves and are more curious than attractive.

Nativity and distribution()

Hibiscus sabdariffa is probably native to tropical Africa but cultivated and widely distributed in the tropics.

Family()

Malvaceae