Red sorrel .
It is an annual crop, cultivated for its edible leaves and calyx (the outer whorl of the flower) ,They
have an acidic/ sourin tste.This plant is also cultivated for its jute-like fiber. It is an erect, branched and half-woody plant,
growing to a height of 1 to 2 meter.
The leaves are alternate, 3 to 5 in long.
Green with reddish veins and long or short petioles.
Leaves of young seedlings and upper leaves of older plants are simple;
lower leaves are deeply 3 to 5lobed; the margins are toothed.
Flowers, borne singly in the leaf axils, are up to 5 in wide.
Yellow with a rose or maroon eye, and turn pink as they wither at the end of the day. At this time, the typically red calyx, consisting of 5 large sepals with a collar (epicalyx), pointed bracts (or bracteoles) around the base, begins to enlarge, becomes fleshy, crisp but juicy.
Fruits are small, tapering capsules.
5-valved, with each valve containing 3 to 4 kidney-shaped, light-brown seeds.
Each 100 g edible portion of Calyx contains:
Water 86.0 g
Carbohydrates 11.31 g
Protein 0.96 g
Fat 0.64 g
Vitamin A 14 μg
Vitamin B1 0.011 mg
Vitamin B2 0.028 mg
Vitamin B3 0.31 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Calcium 215 mg
Iron 1.48 mg
Magnesium 51 mg
Phosphorous 37 mg
Potassium 208 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Energy Value 205 kJ (49 kcal)
It can be cultivated from seeds .
Sepals of roselle are used in making juices, squashes, jellies, wines and pies.
Its leaves are used for making Pickels.
In Kerala it is mainly used for making Fish Curries.
Infusion of calyces shows cooling, digestive, diuretic, emollient, sedative properties and cures scurvey.
It is reported that it reduces Cancer promotion.