This tropical perennial is native to West Africa, introduced to the tropics worldwide, and grown as an annual in temperate climates. The papery blooms give way to the bright red, fleshy calyces, which may be made into jelly, syrup, or wine. Dried, the calyces are widely used in herbal teas, imparting a bright red color and a tart flavor. The plant prefers full sun and fertile, fast-draining soils. The seeds must be scarified before planting. Once planted, the seed will imbibe water through the hole you created during the scarification process, the seedcoat will soften, and germination will occur. These seeds are best started early in the greenhouse and transplanted out after the last frost.