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Is hibiscus edible? In warm, sunny locations, the plant delights with single or double flowers in white, yellow, pink, blue or violet. Not only are hibiscus flowers pretty to look at, some are even edible.

In a nutshell

  • Hibiscus popular as a garden and houseplant
  • 500 varieties known worldwide
  • Hibiscus flowers are edible, tasty and healthy
  • suitable for decorating dishes
  • Can be used to make hibiscus tea, syrup and magical cocktails

Decorative ornamental shrub made of flowers

The warm summers of recent years have made the hibiscus, also known as rose mallow, red mallow or African mallow, one of the most popular garden shrubs. They are particularly attractive both individually and in combination with other varieties and colors. In sunny locations, the ornamental shrubs unfold their full bloom. They are suitable for outdoor and container culture, and they also add color to any room as a houseplant.

Fascinating floral splendor

The flowers of new breeds shine in white, yellow, apricot, pink, violet and blue. Multicolored variations are particularly appealing.
But that's not all! The magical hibiscus flowers are not only attractive, but some varieties are edible and healthy. They can be made into tea, syrup, lemonade and jam or used to decorate cocktails, salads and cakes. Try hibiscus flower jelly, it's a real treat!
By the way, for many years the flowers of the rose mallow have had a permanent place in naturopathy due to their health-promoting effect.

A blue and a red hibiscus flower show the rich colors and diversity of the plant.

Edible hibiscus flowers

We present varieties with particularly tasty flowers:

Chinese rose mallow (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

  • other name: Chinese rose
  • Flower colour: Red, particularly intense in colour
  • used because of the color for red coloring of drinks and food, anti-inflammatory
  • but not suitable for outdoor use
  • Flowering time: April to November

Notice: The Chinese rose mallow with its bright red flowers is the national flower of Malaysia.

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

  • other names: Sudan marshmallow, karkade
  • Flower color: red, suitable for sweet food and drinks
  • grows in greenhouses in Germany
  • Tea made from dried flowers has a stimulating + draining effect, popular in Senegal
  • Suitable for refining jam due to its sweetness
  • Flowering period: August to October
Left: hibiscus flowertea, Right: Turkish cakes with Hibiscus as a topping

By the way, rosella blossom tea is used in naturopathy to treat menopausal symptoms.

Garden marshmallow (Hibiscus syriacus)

  • other name: Sharon rose
  • Flower Colors: White, pink, blue, or violet with a dark red center
  • common in German gardens, easy-care ornamental plant
  • large flowers, decorate cocktails or desserts
  • Flowering period: July to September
Pink flowers of the garden hibiscus, other name: Sharon rose

Marsh marshmallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)

  • other name: giant hibiscus
  • Flower colors: white, pink, red
  • Flower diameter up to 30 centimetres, very rich in vitamins
  • easy-care outdoor plant
  • Due to its taste, it is suitable for refining salads
  • Flowering period: May to September
Are marshmallow flowers poisonous to pets?

No, just like humans, pets like dogs, cats and guinea pigs are not at risk from nibbling on hibiscus flowers.

Why is it that the garden hibiscus is not blooming?

A shady location can prevent flowering. Sun, warmth and sufficient moisture are necessary for the ornamental plant to develop well. Waterlogging often prevents flowering. Be sure to ensure good water drainage for houseplants and potted plants. With a drainage made of gravel or expanded clay, you can prevent waterlogging. With tomato fertilizer you can increase the willingness of the marshmallow to bloom.

How is hibiscus tea prepared?

Dry the petals and calyx on paper towels. Turn the flowers several times. When they are well dried, put them in sealable jars. Put a handful of dried buds in a pitcher. Pour boiling water over them. After six to eight minutes, the tea is perfect.

When are hibiscus flowers harvested?

When the buds are fully open is the best time to harvest. The flowers are easy to pick. Then they are hung up to dry individually or shredded and dried on kitchen paper.

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