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Little River Cooperative

Cranberry Hibiscus (hibiscus acetosella) 10 seeds

Regular price $6.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.00 USD
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Cranberry Hibiscus
hibiscus acetosella

Cranberry hibiscus is a beautiful & tasty hibiscus variety that stuns with its beautiful dark red maple leaf shaped leaves and its maroon hibiscus flowers. Originally from the tropical regions of Africa its also heavily grown in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean as a food crop. 

The leaves are edible and taste tart and lemony, like its cousin plant Roselle (the hibiscus variety that produces tea calyxs), and the flowers are edible too. They contain lots of antioxidants,calcium, iron, and vitamins B2, B3, and C. According to our resident tropical herbalist, The Garden Jules, “Cranberry Hibiscus contains a compound called polyphenols which are known to reduce inflammation in the body. Rich in vitamins A and C, this is a great plant ally for healthy skin and luscious hair. It’s also known to improve digestion because of its diuretic properties, which boosts bowel and kidney function.”

Chefs like harvesting the leaves when they are itty bitty and using them as garnish, and home gardeners looking for summer friendly leaf crops like to eat the leaves raw in salads or quick cooked in sautés and such. Cranberry hibiscus plants get large so make sure to give them lots of space. For that reason they’re best planted in your landscaping, not your raised bed. Cranberry Hibiscus is day-length sensitive, so plant in spring and come fall your shoulder or head tall plant will be covered with flowers for all humans and pollinators to enjoy.

While Cranberry Hibiscus is referred to as a perennial it does produce seed and significantly decline after it flowers in the Fall, so we treat it like an annual. Buying seeds online is shockingly expensive since its very labor intensive to harvest the seeds, but luckily it  propagates easily by woody and young stem cuttings. Happy bushes will grow to be about 6 feet around and just as tall and they respond positively to pruning if planted in the spring. 

Planting and growing tips: Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in premoistened potting mix in a small pot or seedling tray. Keep cells moist in partial shade until germination, when they can be moved to full sun exposure. Seeds will germinate in under 7 days and grow quickly. Its essential to get the seedlings full sun right away or they will get "leggy" which will cause the mature plant to not be able to hold itself up. A properly pruned and cared for cranberry hibiscus planted in spring and allowed to grow healthily all summer will end up 5 feet in diameter by the time its flowering in fall so make sure to space plants about 10 feet apart in the garden. Once plant is a couple feet tall prune its growing tip off to encourage branching. 

Seed packages are hand silkscreened by Gold Teeth Brooklyn, a handmade stationery company based in Washington. 

Seeds have been tested for reliable germination in our nursery at 80 degree daytime temperatures. We recommend using them within 1 year of date of purchase. 


All of our plants are produced using OMRI certified organic materials (potting mix, fertilizer & pesticides) however our nursery is not certified organic. Plants are shipped in compostable peat moss pots and we use heirloom & organic seeds whenever possible.

Shipping & Returns

We ship plant orders every Monday. Due to the nature of shipping plants we only offer expedited shipping for our live plant orders. Our returns & exchanges policy is also quite strict since its hard to control the quality of a plant once it leaves our facility, however we do our very best to make sure that each and every customer is satisfied with their plants. Read more about our policies here. 


All of our plants are potted in 4" pots and their foliage size varies based on how large the plant is naturally when its root ball is the correct size for the pot. If a plant is too tall for our shipping box we may prune it to fit (bonus: many plants do better after being pruned since they make bushier growth). We do our very best to ship all of our plants in the "sweet spot" of maturity however so long as the roots have colonized the pot we will consider a plant mature enough to ship.

Care Instructions

When you receive your plant its critical to get it out of its box and into the light the day it arrives. It will also want to be removed from its compostable plastic wrapping and given fresh water to drink. Keep in mind, this plant was grown in the tropical humid climate of South Florida, so if it's terribly cold or dry where you are it'll need to be hardened off before planting outdoors. Visit our care instructions page for more thorough info about caring for your new plant friend.

  • What Our Customers Have to Say:

    This is a great, local organization with really knowledgeable & friendly staff. They make gardening easy and accessible, and I've purchased many high quality plants and equipment from them.
    -Kate Black (5 star google review)

  • And Another One:

    How lucky we are to have a resource like Little River Cooperative here in Miami, not only for the access they offer to a great selection of plants and produce, but also for the knowledge they provide and the sense of community they foster!
    -Nick Vagnoni (5 star google review)