Chin Baung (Burmese Roselle Leaf)
This is the special variety of roselle that is grown for its leaf and used in Burmese cooking for Chin Baung Kyaw, or fried sour leaf. Our friends at Novick Urban Farm in South Philadelphia are refugees and immigrants from the Karen state in the mountains of Burma/Myanmar, and they grow this variety now each year for their special dishes. After first trying to substitute spinach, and then trying various types of roselle leaves, finally, they found just the right one, which originated in their homeland. They shared this seed with us, and we sent it to our friends at Frog Song Organics in Florida who were able to regenerate the seed in their extra long growing season.
Primary photo by Adam Forbes.
Days to maturity: 42-60
Seeds per pack: 40
Germination rate: 65% on 03/02/2021
Planting / harvesting notes
Sow seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost in order to get a head start on the season. Plant in loose soil and keep well watered. Harvest individual leaves as soon as the plant reaches 18” tall and leave at least a few inches of stem on the plant. Harvest every 4 weeks or so to allow the plant to regrow.
Seed keeping notes
Roselle seeds are harvested when the flower has faded and dried, usually after at least 10 days from first blooming. You should find dried seeds inside the dried calyx. Snip the stem with scissors, remove the seed pod, loosen the seeds, and allow them to dry completely before storage.