Local Vegetables of Thailand title
Botanical Name Index Family Name Index Local Vegetables of Thailand Home

Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (Malvaceae)
Vernacular name: krachiap daeng
Common name: roselle (English), Jamaican sorrel (English)

  Small, annual shrub, 1-2 m high; stem purplish red. Leaves alternate, simple, variable in shape, entire or deeply 3-5 lobate, dentate, 8-12 cm long. Inflorescence of loose clusters, axillary yellow flower. Flower actinomorphic, bisexual, yellow with dark throat inside. Epicalyx segments 7-10, without an appendage, reddish, linear and usually fleshy; calyx 5-lobed, 1-2 cm long, with a nectary on the costae outside, usually becoming large and fleshy after anthesis, accrescent to 5 cm and closely enveloping the capsule, dark purple or red; corolla with 5 petals, not widely opened, pale yellow or pale pink with dark purple basal spot; staminal column erect, 1.5-2 cm long, bearing anthers almost from the base; style arms 5, short, each ending in a discoid stigma. Fruit a dehiscent capsule, ovoid, acute, yellow hairy, about 2.5 cm long, enclosed in the enlarged calyx. Seeds reniform.
  Common crop in dry region of central part of Thailand, it is occasionally grown in backyard garden for its sour young leaves and red fruiting calyx.
  The young leaves are blanched and eaten with nam phrik or used as a substitute for spinach. Roselle leaves also serve as an ingredient in hot and sour soup. Jam, jelly, juice, wine and food colouring are all made from the fleshy calyx, which can also be used as a dye, producing a purple or blue colour. Per 100 g edible portion, the leaves contain: water 85 g, protein 3.3 g, fat 0.3 g, carbohydrates 9 g, fiber 1.6 g, Ca 213 mg, Fe 4.8 mg, P 93 mg, beta-carotene 4.1 g, vitamin B1 0.17 mg, vitamin B2 0.45 mg, niacin 1.2 mg, vitamin C 54 mg. The dried calyces are diuretic, febrifuge and taenifuge. The juice from calyx is drunk to get rid of kidney stone according to Thai traditional medicine.
  It propagates by direct seeding at 20 x 20 cm spacing.

Leaves
Leaves
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers
Flowers

Click on image to enlarge.