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October 28, 2020

Science > Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Common Name

Roselle, Hibiscus, Sour tea 

 Scientific Name

Hibiscus sabdariffa L.

History

Hibiscus that is also called red tea or Meccan tea is native to India to Malaysia and had been carried to Africa years ago. It was grown in Brazil in 17th century and in Guatemala before 1840 for food use. It was planted by Dr. H. J. Webber at the United States Department of Agriculture's Subtropical Laboratory at Eustis, Florida, in the early 1980’s, but all of the plants were destroyed because of a severe freeze in 1895. This plant was being cultivated as a common home garden crop in southern and central parts of Florida until after World War II.

In 1962, hibiscus was cultivated in Egypt more for pharmaceutical than for food use. In 1971, calyces of this plant were produced and dried in Senegal and then shipped to Europe at the rate of 10 to 25 tons a year.

Today, this plant is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions, and its calyces are used much in Egypt, Iran, Thailand and western countries in order to to make jams, drinks and teas.



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