Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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roselle (sometimes rozelle) Hibiscus sabdariffa, also called flor de Jamaica or Jamaica sorrel or red sorrel, although it did not reach Jamaica until the beginning of the 18th century and is not a close relation of sorrel. It is thought to have its origin in Africa, but is now cultivated in many tropical regions, including SE Asia. Burkill (1965–6) infers from the nature of its names in India and Malaysia that it is a relatively recent arrival in Asia. It is grown mainly as a fibre crop, but its culinary uses amount to more than a mere by-product.