“Bees To My Table”

‘Sleeping’ hibiscus,

native to Florida, bring

bees to the table.*


The never-fully opened sleeping hibiscus which I have been told are Florida’s only native such plant – hibiscus are cousins to okra: just look at the two flowers, and both have edible output; okra the pods and hibiscus, the flowers dehydrated and reconstituted to form jamiaca, or agua fresca – and still the bees seek out the protruding stamens and crawl past the yellow-gold encrusted pollen to sip nectar neath the closed curtains.  I have as a child taken to plucking all manner of hibiscus to suck out the nectar from the blossom end of the flower and now will report that the sleeping hibiscus so sweet I eschew all others in their favor and the rehydrated juice of such flowers are loaded with vitamin c and more besides and take well to a conversation with either rum or vodka or even unaltered and sometimes diluted two- or three-to-one with cold water.  When just out of the 20-minute steep with water at a slow simmer makes a delightful hot tea as well.)

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