Our Flowers and Farms – Wild Hibiscus Flower Co

Our Flowers and Farms

FREE: This tool provides ideas on how our flowers and products can be used with different types of foods, drinks and flavor profiles of other ingredients.

We've branched out!

Wild Hibiscus Flower Company now work with more than just hibiscus flowers.  Applying our expertise we now also specialize in Bulgarian roses and butterfly pea flowers - all edible flowers of course.

Each of the flower varieties we have selected has its own unique color, flavor and uses in food and beverage. 

We love our farmers. We grow together!

We have built important and genuine relationships with our farmers across the Australasian tropical belt and have a strong network of growers for year-round supply of premium seasonal flowers.

Together with our farmers we have developed quality standards and unique farming techniques.  We visit our farmers regularly and are constantly improving together with a view for long-terms environmental, business and community sustainability.

Our Hibiscus Flowers & Farms

Hibiscus Flowers

Flowers growingThere are many types of hibiscus flowers.  Most people are familiar with the non-edible, ornate garden varieties.  We use the edible variety - Latin name Hibiscus Sabdariffa, which has been adopted as a native in the tropics of Australia.  Hibiscus sabdariffa has been there for thousands of years and originally thought to have been brought to the northern shores by Indonesian fisherman and travellers similar to the Northern Tamarind.

Edible hibiscus - also commonly known as Rosella flowers - grows on the fringes of rainforest and tall forest and is often found behind sand dunes in the tropical north of Australia. There are several native Hibiscus closely related to the rosella which are nearly as tasty.

Hibiscus has been spread throughout the world by travellers and people as it is endlessly versatile, used in tea, desserts, soups, chutneys, eaten fresh, is a good source of vitamin C and is used in many herbal remedies throughout the world.

Originally it is thought to come from Sri Lanka but can now be found growing on every continent.  Proof of its wonderful flavor and appeal to people worldwide.

Although it is the same species there are many differences between the countries where it grows. The Australian variety is quite different to the New Guinea & Indonesian variety which are totally different to the Chinese variety even though they are all classed as Hibiscus sabdariffa!

This is a picture of hibiscus in one of our best plantations. 

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Sabdariffa

Hibiscus is very high in anthocyanin antioxidants and has been linked to lowing blood pressure and cholesterol in several international health studies: 

Hibiscus Flower Farms

Wild Hibiscus Flower Company Founder, Lee Etherington heads up our farming network, flower processing facility and logistics.

Pictured below is the process of our hibiscus flowers being farmed.  Seedlings are planted at the perfect seasonal times to yield the best quality flowers.  

Once the flower opens, the center fruity part (calyx) is hand-picked, de-seeded, quality checked and cleaned.  (Sam Etherington, our Production Manager pictured below, checks the harvest). Depending on our production needs, flowers are either used whole in our Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup products, juiced fresh for our Hibiscus Extract or laid out and sun-dried for Heart-Tea, Hibiscus Salt and other dried hibiscus products.

Using our system and techniques our farmers see the value in growing hibiscus as it becomes a cyclical “cash crop” which generates income within 3 months versus oil palm or fruit trees which can take up to 5 years to see a return.

Our hibiscus plantations are also done cleverly without pesticides or chemicals which is a big plus for the farmers and our consumers.

With our farmers, we have also developed ways for them to inter-crop hibiscus plantations with longer-term yielding crops.  This helps sustain farmers steady income and therefore community stability.

Starting out with flowers from Queensland, Australia we have now expanded our growers network across the Australasian belt. With growing demand we now chase the sun for year round supply of premium flowers.

We have researched and developed how to grow the hibiscus sustainability, who could grow it, where to grow it, how to harvest it, how to prevent pests without chemicals or pesticides, how to manage it after harvest so the hibiscus remained in peak condition, and most importantly, how to consistently process the fresh flowers into the Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.

 Under our supervision, our growers produce and hand pick the crops of flowers.  The fresh flowers are individually picked, de-seeded, cleaned, graded and then packed into jars entirely by hand at our factory. Hibiscus flowers grow in several different shapes, so we place them in predetermined positions in the jar according to shape, to ensure that none are squashed.

With such a labor-intensive process (a labor of love, really), it's difficult to produce vast volumes of our product at speed, but the output of our careful but efficient production process meets the export demands of our international market.

Our Butterfly Pea Flowers & Farms

Butterfly Pea Flowers

The butterfly pea flower is a native from Thailand where it is called Dok Anchan (Latin name is clitoria ternatia).  It grows on a vine producing bountiful crops of delicate blue and purple flowers which are typically dried.  

The dried flowers are used in Thailand as a herbal ingredient to many foods (such as rice and desserts) and in drinks. 

Butterfly peas have a neutral taste and very mild aroma kind of like peas.  In some preparations there is no evidence of taste or aroma just the pure blue or purple color. 

The most popular drink of all being Nam Dok Anchan which is a special butterfly pea flower tea drink mixed with honey and lemon and served over ice to travellers as a welcome drink in Thailand.

The color of this flower is very interesting.  When first extracted from the flower (for example when steeped in hot water to drink as a tea) the color is bright blue.  But then if a squeeze of lemon or lime is added, it  then changes to royal purple and almost pink in some instances due to the change in acidity. In our processes to create b'Lure, blue pigment is extracted from the flower petals using only water.

Health Benefits of Butterfly Pea Flowers

Apart from the alluring blue and purples colors and high antioxidant levels of the butterfly pea flowers, they are highly valued for the herbal benefits when consumed or used in cosmetics.  Whilst no scientific research has been concluded, it is believed in Thai traditional herbal medicine that butterfly pea has many health attributes such as being an anti-depressant, a hair growth stimulant and assists in memory enhancement!

Butterfly Pea Flower Farms

Our flowers are farmed and hand picked by families across Thailand. 

Wild Hibiscus Flower Company Founder, Lee Etherington has personally visited all of our farmers on several occasions to learn about their culture and techniques.  Many are in very remote areas of Thailand.

Pictured below is the general process of our butterfly pea flowers being farmed.  Seedlings are planted along trestles or fences.   Also a fast growing plant this vine is actually part of the legume family.  It is renowned for being used for soil improvement for other crops as it adds nitrogen into the ground.Once bloomed, the flowers are hand picked, bagged and dried on tables in special drying rooms.

The vine is naturally resistant to most pests so no pesticides or chemicals are used apart from smoke-water if needed which is a natural bi-product from making charcoal (an extra cash stream for farmers) and is an extremely effective for deterring bugs and insects but is completely non-harmful.

Bulgarian Roses

We source our essential rose oil only from the best rose region in the world, Bulgaria.  The most premium roses are hand picked and of the world from Bulgaria. Prized for their eternal beauty, exquisite scent and flavor for food and beverage. 

We use the essential oils extracted only from the petals - not from the rose hips.Whilst we have no scientific studies to verify health benefits,  rose has long been used for its therapeutic benefits. For example, rose is used to uplift a feeling of well being, as an antiseptic / antiviral treatment, and an aphrodisiac to name a few.

We have carefully incorporated this supreme essential oil into our Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Rose Syrup and our Rose+Hibiscus Flower Extract products.