Rosella or Queensland Jam Plant
As a versatile culinary plant, Hibiscus Subdantta is Rosella or the ‘Queensland Jam Plant’ has a lot going for it. You can use the chopped fruit and leaves in in salads, and of course you can make a magnificent jam. The leaves are used in curry and the calyx used to make a herbal tea.
Flowers do not last long, but can be picked when fresh to make a tea. The fruits that form after the flowers are picked, but it i the outer calyx (the red bit) is used to make jam or jelly. Rosella wine is also made.
Although it is widely grown in Queensland Hibiscus Subdantta is not actually a native plant, it originally comes from Africa and Asia, however has been spread around the world for its many uses.
Rosella Plant – Growing Conditions
Rosella is really a tropical to sub tropical plant, we see plants offered for sale in cool temperate climates, not so sure that they will ever fruit, or even survive. They need a 6 months season so if you are keen, start them under glass in early spring for best results.
Plants will reach around 2m in height with a similar spread. You can grow them as an annual in cooler climates however for those in warmer climates Hibiscus Subdantta will happily self seed.
These plants can be started from seed as soon as risk of frost is over.
Generally it takes around 3 – 4 weeks after flowering for Rosella to be ready to pick.
Rosella Basic Information.
- Height – Will reach 1.5 metres to 2 metres in height.
- Space the plants at around 1 metre apart.
- It is the red flower fronds that are eaten fresh and used to make Rosella Jam.
- Plant in a humus rich moist soil. In temperament climates they will need watering through summer.
- Rosella plants are generally disease and pest free.