Dec. 1, 2018

kenaf, Hibiscus cannabinus

Kenaf flowers are often slightly smaller than the classic hibiscus. They may be white, yellow, or pink, but always with a purple center. This is another escape from cultivation, probably from being grown for fiber. Kenaf produces a tough fiber, coarse in the outer layers, finer inside the stem. That fiber has an amazing range of uses. There is even some in the body of your car if you're driving a Ford Escape or some BMWs. Kenaf could also escape where it's being grown for the oil of the seeds, which is used like other vegetable oils. Or from a flower garden. Who could resist another kind of hibiscus? Native to southeast Asia kenaf has escaped to the wilds of Florida. Beal Gardens, MSU, 6/24/12.