The Twelve Days of a Green Christmas…Seventh Day


…on the seventh day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…seven false roselle, six craft beers, five mutual shares, four smart bulbs, three bags of taters, two quarts of milk and a potted cypress tree!

False Roselle plant
Credit: Eat the Weeds/Green Deane

Seven false roselle…what a great green gift! The scientific name of these plants is Hibiscus acetosella but it is also known as cranberry hibiscus, maroon mallow, red shield or African rosemallow. False roselle is a flowering, edible shrub of the genus Hibiscus and the Malvaceae or mallows family. It can grow up to 10′ tall, does best  in zones 7-11 and flowers in the winter. False roselle is drought-tolerant once established and will self-seed. In addition to the beautiful reddish colored leaves which add a great contrast in your garden the tangy, sorrel-tasting leaves of this plant can be eaten raw or cooked, used in a stir-fry, salad or even used to brew tea!

False Roselle flower Credit: Deane

The flowers are as stunning as the color of the leaves even though they only last one day. Typically a vibrant pink the flowers can also be yellow or red. Not as tasty as the leaves the flowers are also edible and make a beautiful addition to a salad or entrée’! Once the flowers have expired you are left with seeds that can used to brew tea or start new plants. While researching False Roselle I ran across this intriguing Australian website that had recipes for several teas, syrups, jam and a recipe for using cooked calyces (the outermost group of floral parts, the  sepals) as substitute for sauerkraut! I’m planning on making a stir-fry tonight so I am going to try adding some of the leaves.

Do you grow False Roselle, use it in recipes or for medicinal purposes…it purportedly lowers blood pressure. Share your pictures, thoughts or recipes in the comments below!

If you’re curious about the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas you can find that here. Thank you for joining me on this Seventh Day of a Green Christmas and New Year’s Eve! Join me next year…LOL!…and see what my Green Friend gifts me on the Eighth Day of a Green Christmas…I’m sure it will be fun, educational, useful or possibly edible like today’s gift!

Wishing everyone an outstanding year of good health, happiness and love in 2019! Instead of setting yourself up for failure with New Year’s resolutions why not aim to be just a little better each day…there is no failure! Happy New Year!

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