Botanical Name — Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench Synonyms — Hibiscus esculentus L.; Abelmoschus bammia Webb; Abelmoschus officinalis;

Abelmoschus longifolius (Willd.) Kostel.; Abelmoschuspraecox Sickenb; Abelmoschus tuberculatus Related Species — Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik Synonyms — A. caillei (A.Chev.) Stevels; A. pseudomanihot DC. Endl; A. platidactylus (Bakh.)

Nakai and Hibiscus manihot; Hibiscus papyriferus Salisb Family — Malvaceae Common Names — Common okra, Okro, Okra, lady’s finger, ladies’ finger, gumbo African Names — Akan (Twi): nkruman, nkruma (okra); Bantu: ki ngombo, ngumbo, gombo;

Congo, Angola: quillobo, ki ngombo; Swahili: gumbo; Igbo: okwuru. Description — Okra is a stout annual herb typically reaching 2 m in height, but some African

varieties may grow up to 5 m tall, with a base stem 10 cm in diameter. The heart-shaped, lobed leaves are attached to the thick, woody stem. They may reach 30 cm in length and are generally hairy. Flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils and are usually yellow with a dark red or purple base. Some of the African varieties bloom only in late fall in temperate zones and are photoperiod sensitive. It is largely self-pollinated, although some outcrossing is reported, and it is often visited by bees.