Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I'm keen to grow a few types of Native Hibiscus.(LINK)

But I'm not sure which varieties grow well here in SEQld.

Does anyone have some pointers as to suitable types?

At least to get me going.

I'll go market nursery shopping next Sunday or the Sunday after and I want to be clued up before then.

If not I'll order seeds...if I can find the ones I want.

Easy cut and plant on...Great flowers ...and edible.

There are more than 300 Hibiscus species that occur mainly in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. and among these, Australia has about 40 native species.

However, since I'm also looking to the school garden, some species, I understand, such as Hibiscus diversifolius, H.heterophyllus, H.splendens and Abelmoschus manihot, carry seed pods which are  covered in hairs that may cause severe skin irritation.

[Sticky tape stuck onto the skin and then pulled off appears to be the easiest and most effective way to remove these irritant hairs as well as wearing gloves and using tweezers when extracting seed.]

Any experience of this issue? Is it a brush by issue or do you have to handle the seeds?

Brush by I can deal with.

Australian Hibiscus and Hibiscus-like plants

Click on thumbnail images or plant names for larger images

Abelmoschus moschatus subsp.tuberosus
Abelmoschus moschatus subsp.tuberosus

Alyogyne hakeifolia
Alyogyne hakeifolia

Alyogyne huegelii
Alyogyne huegelii

Gossypium sturtianum
Gossypium sturtianum

Hibiscus meraukensis
Hibiscus meraukensis

Hibiscus pentaphyllus
Hibiscus pentaphyllus

Hibiscus sturtii
Hibiscus sturtii

Hibiscus splendens
Hibiscus splendens

Hibiscus trionum
Hibiscus trionum var vesicarius

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Heterophyllus x2 on the footpath in town. Hairy and perhaps spikey too (just forgotten exactly) but hairy definitely and however delightful, not recommended on that account.

Pavonia hastata is related and apparently from US originally though it is widespread including Mt Glorious. A small plant, hairless and would be suitable for school. I've grown it in town, trouble-free as I recall.

It's not a native one but a common kind of exotic Hibiscus that I have here. Grows on the smell of a raindrop. Flowers profusely, no hairs no spikes, plenty of cuttings available if you want to give it a go. Tall-growing and relishes pruning.

Hibiscus heterophyllus seems the keenest local variety as it was -- and still is --native to our catchments. (Info LINK)

It has thorns to its branches  and hairs to its seed pod -- but I think I'll trial it at home. 

I wanted to say ,"Get a load of this native!' --so we'll see.

i'm growing Dragon Fruit at the school, despite the spines --as I've worked out a safety compromise.

I think Hibiscus heterophyllus could be sort of  espaliered -- away from traffic against a wall.

During the Colonial Period, the buds were cooked and made into jam. Current Use is described as buds cooked and made into jam. Buds can be eaten without cooking in salads or boiled as a vegetable. The petals can be eaten in salads. The flavour of the flowers is very mild and it has been suggested that perhaps the best use for them is as a colourful edible ornament for a salad . Although profuse, the flowers last only a day but if they are wanted for use at night, they can be picked as they begin to unfurl in the morning, then stored in the refrigerator crisper and if taken out in the late afternoon, will open and stay fresh until about mid-night. The flowers can be stuffed, made into fritters or made into tea and the buds pickled. Young shoots (WARNING-see below) of Hibiscus also are edible, raw or cooked and are pleasantly acid. They can be used raw mixed in salads, be steamed or boiled as a vegetable or added to soups. The very sour leaves make a good spinach substitute in Greek dishes and an excellent "spinach" pie. The roots can also be eaten raw or cooked. Hibiscus heterophyllus has been described as a versatile vegetable, with buds that can be stewed as rosellas, leaves tasting like sorrel and roots like woody parsnips. For information on culinary uses see Wild Lime by Juleigh Robins, Allen & Unwin, 1996, page 40.

WARNING. It should be noted that although numerous references suggest that no hibiscus is known to be poisonous, Peter Hardwick has expressed concern in relation to Hibiscus heterophyllus. In the Australian Food Plants Study Group Newsletter of February 1995 it was reported that he suffered kidney damage from drinking H. heterophyllus tea over a few days and that discussions with Aborigines confirmed that they use this plant only sparingly as a medicinal plant, rather than to eat.

we have 4 different coloured native hibiscus here - dont know any other details - all different  some shiny green spikey leaves, one soft dull green leaves a pink flowering one  purple flowering one a white flowering one and a dark pink ! got them from Bunnings and they were labelled native hibiscus ! awesome growers always taking cuttings that readily strike you are welcome to come get any you want ! 

Goodness - a more versatile plant than I knew when I grew it.

There's a cross breed -- Aussie Delight (LINK) --

"Aussie Delight is the result of several generations of careful cross breeding and selection based on the Australian native species, Hibiscus heterophyllus and Hibiscus divaricatus, to produce a compact bushy plant with few prickles and an extended flowering period."

Comparison of both varieties HERE.

Not sure of the name, but have you seen the hibiscus with the closed red flower that points down, I believe that one of those types has edible flowers.  I will look and see if I can find it again. 

Found it HERE is a video that shows the flower, they call it a Turk's cap.

The Turks Cap looks really interesting although a related species is a weed in the Brisbane area --Sleeping hibiscus ( Malvaviscus penduliflorus ).(LINK) But Turk's Cap itself is apparently OK.

There's a hibiscus lady -- plus other sellers -- at the Caboolture Mkts, and I'm now a bit more informed to explore their wares when I next attend. .

There's Hibiscus Societies around about too. Some years back I had contact with a local-ish woman who sent cuttings to me of Aibika when we couldn't find it.


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