Paul Taylor <>
Mon, 25 Aug 2003 09:08:22 +1000
As possible alternative/convergent derivation.
The calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa (and related species) is also known as
a "rosella"; it is used to make "Rosella jam".
The plant is believed to have originated in Sri Lanka, but is now found
worldwide. (Plants found in northern Australia are thought to have been
introduced by Indonesian fishermen "thousands of years ago.")
It's a good source of vitamin C, and was probably used to ward off scurvy.
While I can't find any references to the Royal Navy using Rosellas, it's
possible that they were tried given that Captain Cook was busy trying to
find a cure for scurvy, including things like sauerkraut and malt extract!
Since Rosellas are bright crimson in colour, it makes sense that the name
was also given to the local crimson parrots. This ties in to "Rosehiller"
given their phonetic similarity - but which came first??
Paul Taylor Veni, vidi, tici -
I came, I saw, I ticked.
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