Native Hibiscus

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Native Hibiscus   Hibiscus heterphyllus    Malvaceae      Native Australian Bushtucker

Other names: Native Sorrel

An evergreen upright open pyramidal shrub to 6m, with pink, yellow or white maroon-centred flowers with crispy berry-rhubarb flavour. Leaves are dark green and often tri-lobed. Plant in sun to semi-shade, in a slightly acid, well-drained soil. Tolerates wet and dry conditions but is moderately frost sensitive. Water well and fertilise only during flowering. Tip pruning aids bushiness and seems to encourage flowering. The main flowering period is summer to autumn. The calyx is sour, acidic, fibrous and crisp in texture and can be eaten raw or cooked in sauces and preserves. Petals are used in jams, jellies, fruit stews, sauces and as a garnish. The young shoots, leaves and roots are also edible. Small prickles on the stem, leaf stalks and the underside of leaf-blades make the plant harsh to touch and can cause skin irritation. The fibres of the wood can be used for weaving. Native Rosella attracts birds.

Champagne Cocktail:   Place a whole Wild Rosella Flower in the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill slowly with your favourite Champagne for a unique, spectacular and delicious special occasion experience! Bubbles stream off and open up the flower, while the drink changes from bright pink at the bottom to light pink at the top. Enjoy your champagne and eat your flower – it has a sweet raspberry flavour!  You could add a little drop of rosella syrup if you’d like to sweeten it.

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STFC Newsletter April – May 2006