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Our hibiscus plant just opened a beautiful red flower today. I read that we can harvest the calyces (the sepals behind the petals) and dry them to make tea. We might just do that.
Hibiscus is great in tea, it is tangy flavor and a nice red-purple color. The "zinger" boxed teas get their zing from hibiscus. Hibiscus mint is especially good.
The tea is usually made from Hibiscus sabdariffa, I don't know if the regular ornamental hibiscus is particularly recommended for that, but whatever the case, it's unlikely to be toxic, as hibiscus flowers of most species are edible.After doing a quick scan of Hibiscus tea recipes, the botanical term calyx, in this case appears to refer to the entire bud, so you may want to harvest the entire flower for tea.I haven't had the tea, but I've had Hibiscus juice before, while visiting a Sufi Mosque... It is popular in a number of Muslim cultures. It has a fruit punch like flavor, hints of grape and berries, and can have a tart edge. It was very nice.
Yeah, hibiscus tea, hot or cold, is great! It's called jamaica (huh-mai-kuh) in Mexico, sorrel in Jamaica, karkady in the Middle East, bissap in West Africa, pak sompawdee in Laos, and krajiab in Thailand, so this plant really gets around. It is Hibiscus sabdariffa as Starsquid says, originally from Asia, and it is the enlarged calyx (the sepals below the petals) that is used to make the juice/tea after the petals fall off, but the petals are edible as well. Most hibiscus flowers and leaves are edible and fairly tasty if not too fibrous so give yours a try. I just might not have the tang and color of true jamaica
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