Malvaceae Hibiscus esculentus L.
Source: Magness et al. 1971 The okra plant is an annual, requiring warm growing conditions. It attains heights of from 3 feet in dwarf varieties to 7 or 8 feet in others. Leaves are cordate in shape, and lobed or divided. The fruit is a long pod, generally ribbed, and spineless in cultivated kinds. Pods, the edible portion, are harvested while still tender and immature. They attain lengths of 6 to 8 inches, and up to 1 inch or more in diameter. First pods are ready for harvest about 2 months after planting, but plants continue to bloom and set if all pods are harvested at the proper early stage. Okra is generally similar in culture and exposure to summer squash, except the plants are tall and upright with many short branches.
Production in the U.S.: 19,804 acres reported in 1959 census, possibly 40,000 tons.
Use: Fresh, canned, frozen, dried, for use in culinary - mainly soups, stews, or as cooked vegetable.
Part of plant consumed: All of immature pods.