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Roselle calyces Hibiscus sabdariffa


Bast fibers obtained from the stems of the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant that is grown commercially in Central and South America, Brazil, Africa, West Indies, and the East Indies. Roselle is used as a substitute for jute in burlap coffee bags. Roselle is sometimes called kenaf because of its similarities. The dried red calyces are also used as a colorant in food products.

Synonyms and Related Terms

rosella; kenaf; Siam jute (Thailand); mesta (India, Pakistan); ke-nap (Vietnam); carcadé (Fr.); bissap (Fr.); wanjo (Gambia); zobo (Nigeria); karkarde (Egypt, Sudan); omutete (Namibia); sorrel (Caribbean); jamaica (Latin America); vinagreira (Port.) quiabo-roxo (Port.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Bush growing to 2-3 m tall.
  • Leaves=three to five deep lobes (8-15 cm long).
  • Fiber cross section = polygonal

Resources and Citations

  • Marjory L. Joseph, Introductory Textile Science, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Fort Worth, TX, 1986
  • J.Gordon Cook, Handbook of Textile Fibres:I Natural Fibres, Merrow Publishing Co. , Durham, England, 1984
  • Identification of Textile Materials, The Textile Institute, Manchester, England, 1985
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 427
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997