16 February 2016

Hibiscus sabdariffa

     During my very first trip to Nicaragua I had a beautiful and tasty drink called 'hibiscus tea.' The color of red wine, the 'tea' is good hot or cold, but I couldn't find it again - until recently. Though neither the plant nor the flower look like the hibiscus plants and flowers I'm used to, the hibiscus sabdariffa is, indeed, in the hibiscus family.
     The plant is considered an annual in the area where False Bluff is, which is unusual for things that grow down here...like, I've got a hot pepper plant that's two years old that still bears like crazy and has a trunk like a small tree. 
     But the sabdariffa grows really fast and the flower blossoms are ready to harvest in a matter of months. Then it reseeds like crazy, starting the cycle all over again. In fact the plant produces harvestable flowers so fast going to try it in my Virginia garden next season.
     The tea made from an infusion of the plant's dried flowers is spectacular. The plant and its blooms are pretty boring.

This is an internet photo of the flowers because none of the plants at False Bluff were blooming when I was taking pictures.