Herb: Native Rosella

Latin name: Hibiscus heterophyllus

Family: Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Edible parts of Native Rosella:

Leaves and young shoots - raw or cooked. Pleasantly acid. An excellent spinach substitute, the boiled leaves losing their acidity. Flowers and flower buds - raw or cooked. A very mild flavour. Root - it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour. The roots of young plants are used.

Description of the plant:


180 cm
(6 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Moist eucalyptus forests, jungle gullies and rainforest edges.

Other uses of Native Rosella:

A tough fibre obtained from the stems is used for making nets etc.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals, plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and protect them with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.

Cultivation of Native Rosella:

Moist eucalyptus forests, jungle gullies and rainforest edges.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Hibiscus heterophyllus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.