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 is a popular specimen in the ornamental garden, but the plant has a place in the culinary herb garden as well. The bright blooms are used in many different cuisines to make a variety of hot and cold beverages.
In Africa, street vendors commonly sell a sweet tea made from hibiscus flowers, while in the Caribbean a similar brew is blended with beer to produce a Shandy Sorrel.