Edible pua aloalo blooming on a kūkolu moon

This particular species of pua aloalo (Hibiscus acetosella) is native to Africa and is sometimes known as the African rose mallow or Cranberry Hibsicus. The leaf, flower and calyx (the part that holds the flower to the stem) for this plant are all edible. The calyx and flower can be used for making tea. While the calyx creates the flavor of the tea, the flower petals give the tea a nice red color. When the flowers bloom they only lasts for one day, the flower then folds back onto itself. It’s at this point when you should gather the flower (and calyx). Tea can be made from the fresh or dried flowers. The leaves are commonly used in salads or for cooking. The branches can also be used to make rope. Knowing on which moons this flower blooms will be helpful so that you can continually collect as the flower blooms to dry for tea. The plant picture here, is in Makuʻu on the island of Hawaiʻi.

pua aloalo - Hibiscus acetosella

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