Sunset Hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Sunset Hibiscus
Give a thumbs up Aibika
Give a thumbs up Sweet Hibiscus
Give a thumbs up Edible Hibiscus
Give a thumbs up Sunset Muskmallow
Give a thumbs up Palmate-Leaved Hibiscus

Botanical names:
Abelmoschus manihot Accepted
Hibiscus manihot Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Annual
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 5 feet
Plant Spread: 3 feet
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 5"-6"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Fall
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Vegetable
Cooked greens
Edible Parts: Leaves
Flowers
Eating Methods: Cooked
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Various insects

seed pod close-up

Photo gallery:
Location: Macon GeorgiaDate: Augustseed pod close-up
By stone
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Location: Beautiful Tennessee Date: summer 2013Beautiful
By chickhill
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Location: Beautiful Tennessee, my gardenDate: 2018-08-28
By chickhill
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Location: Indiana zone 5Date: 2014-08-28
By gardengus
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Location: Indiana zone 5Date: 2014-08-28
By gardengus
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Location: Beautiful Tennessee, my gardenDate: 2018-08-28don't touch with bare hand/fingers, stickers
By chickhill
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Location: North Carolina, USA. USDA zone 7b.Date: September 5, 2006
By raydio
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Photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials
By Calif_Sue
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Location: Western North CarolinaDate: Late Summer
By vic
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Photo courtesy of Select Seeds.
By Joy
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Comments:
Posted by chickhill (Tennessee - Zone 7a) on Apr 18, 2014 7:50 PM

I have this growing from seed every year. I have read many different articles about this plant, but I haven't found anything about how bad the "fine looking hairs" will stick into your skin. I use leather gloves when cutting the plants down in fall. Anyone else grow this? Then again, I hope I haven't added this comment to the wrong plant.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Mar 19, 2012 5:16 AM

This plant is grown for its leaves and for its large flowers ... even the roots can be used. It grows best in tropical and subtropical regions since it is frost tender. However, although it is a perennial, it can be grown as an annual in temperate areas and flowers the first season.

The plant has a single central stem over 6 feet tall and short sparse branches. It grows very quickly. Cuttings taken in spring can reach over 6 feet by fall in sub-tropical areas. It is hardy and prefers a sunny location with rich, moist, well- drained soil. The plants may naturalize. They grow well in an ornamental vegetable garden and are suitable for pots.

The 6 inch wide hibiscus-like flowers are a brilliant lemon with deep purple eyes borne in long pedicels at the apex of the plant. Flowers are produced in the warmer months. The flowers are pollinated by insects. Petals can be added to salads or cooked.

While the large yellow flowers are very ornamental, the importance of this plant is that it is one of the world's most nutritious leafy vegetables due its high protein content. The leaves are tender and sweet and can be served raw or steamed.

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Posted by Calif_Sue (Sebastopol, CA - Zone 9a) on Apr 25, 2014 9:56 AM

Perennial USDA Zones 8b-11, annual elsewhere

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Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Aug 28, 2014 12:38 PM

I have grown this plant from seed for a few years now in a large 5-gallon pot. It self sows and comes back well. I grow others from seed started early in the greenhouse for earlier blooms.
I have read that it is edible, but I did not find it very tasty.
Wear gloves when handling the mature plants. The hairs stick like cactus hairs.

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Plant Events from our members
piksihk On March 21, 2016 Seeds germinated
piksihk On March 4, 2016 Seeds sown
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Caution/ fine stickers by chickhill Apr 19, 2014 8:58 AM 0
Help needed to identify by Cooptrain Oct 8, 2016 7:20 AM 4
African variety Okra by Philipwonel Aug 1, 2016 11:13 AM 11
of the Day: Comfortroot (Hibiscus aculeatus) by Horntoad Feb 21, 2016 7:20 AM 5
Abelmoschus moschatus, help me understand another Hib relative. by poisondartfrog Jul 2, 2014 7:17 AM 3
Mystery plant by Lorli Oct 8, 2014 9:35 PM 28
Collecting has begun for 2011 by gardengus Sep 26, 2011 2:46 PM 101

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