Upper Chichester, PA
11.000 x 14.000 x 1.000 inches
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Painting - Mixed Media On Canvas Board
Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is quite large, containing several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known as hibiscus, sorrel, and flor de Jamaica, or less widely known as rosemallow. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees.
Many species are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs. Many species are used to attract butterflies and bees.Hibiscus is also a primary ingredient in many herbal teas.
One species of Hibiscus, known as Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), is extensively used in paper making. Another, roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is used as a vegetable and to make herbal teas and jams, especially in the Caribbean.
In Jamaica and many other islands in the Caribbean, the drink is known as sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa; not to be confused with Rumex acetosa, a species sharing the common name sorrel) and is considered a quite popular at Christmas time. It is served cold and mixed with other herbs, roots, and spices and sweetened with cane sugar. Often it is served mixed with Jamaican rum or wine but is also refreshing without any alcohol. Roselle is typically boiled in an enamel-coated large stock pot as most West Indians believe the metal from aluminum, steel or copper pots will destroy the natural minerals and vitamins. A large quantity of the flower is used to ensure a thick dark red tea is made. The tea is popular as a natural diuretic and contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild medicine.
All over the world, the tea drink is consumed hot or cold. It is known as Bissap in West Africa, Karkad� in Egypt and Sudan, flor de Jamaica in Mexico, Gongura in India and Brazil. Some refer to it as roselle, a common name for the hibiscus flower.
In Mexico, it is well known for its color, tanginess and mild flavor; once sugar is added, it tastes somewhat like a more intense herbal and berry (cranberry, raspberry, blueberry, etc.) infused tea. Dieters or people with kidney problems often take it without adding sugar for its beneficial properties and as a natural diuretic.
In Cambodia, a cold beverage can be prepared by first steeping the petals in hot water until the colors are leached from the petals, then adding lime juice (which turns the beverage from dark brown/red to a bright red), sweeteners (sugar/honey) and finally cold water/ice cubes.
April 13th, 2011
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