Hibiscus is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia and North Africa noted for its large and colorful flowers. As such, the plant is now cultivated in tropical and semi-tropical regions throughout the world. Because of its distribution, hibiscus may be referred to as Flor de Jamaica (Mexico), wanjo (Africa), sorrel (Caribbean) and most commonly elsewhere as roselle. Hibiscus flowers are usually added to tea blends or used to flavor various alcoholic beverages, including certain beers.
Hibiscus flowers only last for one day on the stem, but keep considerably longer when dried and stored properly.
The brightly colored blooms are typically dried for use in making teas and other beverages, including alcoholic cocktails. But don't overlook other culinary possibilities—sprinkle the dried flowers into soups and custards or mix into bread dough before baking.
You can also use bits of dried hibiscus flowers to decorate table settings, homemade cards, gift bags and more.