okra: see mallowmallow,
common name for members of the Malvaceae, a family of herbs and shrubs distributed over most of the world and especially abundant in the American tropics. Tropical species sometimes grow as small trees.
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Also called Ochro, Okoro, Quimgombo, Quingumbo, Ladies Fingers and Gumbo. Hibiscus-like flowers and seed pods that are delicious when picked young and tender. Eat raw, steamed of cooked.. Ripe seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee and can be dried and powdered for storage. In Mallow family so its very mucilaginous, meaning it emits a slimy goo when cooked. Very good for you, high in fiber, unsaturated fats, oleic and linoleic acids.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
(Hibiscus esculentus), an annual plant of the mallow family. Height to 1.5 m; it is similar to the cotton plant in its outward appearance and flowers. It is native to East Africa. The unripe, podlike fruits are used for food as vegetables, rough fibers are extracted from the stalks, and a coffee substitute is prepared from the seeds. It is cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries, North America, and southern Europe. In the USSR it is grown in the Transcaucasian region.
REFERENCEBerliand, S. S. “K agrobiologicheskomu izucheniiu bamii.” In Lubianye kul’tury. Moscow, 1950.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Hibiscus esculentus. A tall annual plant grown for its edible immature pods. Also known as gumbo.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. an annual malvaceous plant, Hibiscus esculentus, of the Old World tropics, with yellow-and-red flowers and edible oblong sticky green pods
2. the pod of this plant, eaten in soups, stews, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005