Red Leaf Cranberry Hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella)
Red Leaf Cranberry Hibiscus, African Rosemallow, or False Roselle, is an upright, flowering subshrub, native to tropical East Africa. It is a tender perennial in warm regions but can be grown as an annual in colder zones and even overwintered as a houseplant. Its nutritious leaves are edible and it can be grown as an attractive ornamental as well.
Red Leaf Hibiscus grows 3 to 10 feet tall and has strikingly deep purple-red leaves that are loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants. They have a crisp, tart flavor and can be used as a vegetable, raw or cooked, similar to spinach in salads and stir-fries. The 2-inch hibiscus flowers that bloom in the late summer, fall, and winter, are deep red and can be used to contribute their vibrant color to teas.
This striking plant grows in full sun to partial shade in rich, well-draining soil. It does well in the garden and also as a container plant. It is hardy in USDA zones 8 to 11.