deccan hemp hibiscus plant, kenaf plant

Why is Hibiscus cannabinus L. still not arousing interest?

What is Hibiscus cannabinus L., Kenaf, Deccan Hemp Hibiscus, Indianhemp Plant

Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) is a valuable fiber and medicinal plant from the Malvaceae family. Hibiscus cannabinus also called Deccan hemp, Brown Indian Hemp Hibiscus, and Java jute. 

We were very surprised this year that it grew into large bushes (up to 10 feet) just in 6 months! It grew from spring self-seeding to November. They were often watered when was not much rain. No fertilizers were applied, it was like sandy soil which is normal for North Florida (zone 9a).

kenaf hibiscus bush
kenaf hibiscus trunk

Flower size 4-5 inches for red; yellow cultivar - smaller - 3 1/2 - 4 1/2. Blooms constantly and profusely, before the first frost, forming many seed pods. A lot of self-seedlings are formed for the next season.

red kenaf hibiscus flower
Kenaf Hibiscus cannabinus L, Hibiscus cannabinus, deccan hemp plant
yellow kenaf hibiscus flower
yellow kenaf hibiscus flower
kenaf hibiscus seed pods
kenaf hibiscus seedling

To our surprise, the flowers attract butterflies!

Gaining mass, plants can tend to the ground, so it is possible to form a fence on support.

We assume that in zone 9b, if there is no frost in winter, it can sometimes remain decorative for the next season, like castor beans. This could be tried...

 And most importantly, as a bonus, we were surprised to learn online that all parts of the plant have medicinal properties. The leaves of the plant are also used for food. They have a lot of iron in their composition. Fresh leaves taste like sorrel. Lots of salads every day. :):):) 

red kenaf hibiscus

It is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant (rarely a short-lived perennial) growing to 7-10 feet tall with a woody base. The stems are 1-2 inches diameter, often but not always branched. The leaves are 10-15 cm long, variable in shape, with leaves near the base of the stems being deeply lobed with 3–7 lobes, while leaves near the top of the stem are shallowly lobed or unlobed lanceolate. The flowers are 4-5.5 inches diameter, white, yellow, or purple; when white or yellow, the center is still dark purple. The fruit is a capsule 0.75 inches diameter, containing several seeds.

Kenaf (leaves and seed) has many significant medicinal properties, including anticancer, antioxidants, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiacs, and hepatoprotective activities

Buy Hibiscus cannabinus L. seeds

Buy on Plantly

By on Ebay

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National Library of Medicine

Plants for a Future


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