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Encyclopedia > Okra
Abelmoschus esculentus
Unpicked okra
Unpicked okra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Abelmoschus
Species: esculentus
Binomial name
Abelmoschus esculentus
(L.) Moench

Okra (American English: [ˈoʊkɹə], British English [ˈəʊkɹə], [ˈɒkɹə]), also known as lady's finger[1], bhindi (Hindustani) and gumbo, is a flowering plant in the mallow family (along with such species as cotton and cocoa) valued for its edible green fruits. Its scientific name is Abelmoschus esculentus. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1000x750, 717 KB) Okra growing in a Sub-urban garden I am the author of this photograph (Joe Sala). ... Scientific classification or biological classification refers to how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. ... Magnoliopsida is the botanical name for a class of flowering plants. ... Families Malvaceae (mallows,...) Dipterocarpaceae Sarcolaenaceae Cistaceae Muntingiaceae Bixaceae Diegodendraceae Cochlospermaceae Sphaerosepalaceae Thymelaeaceae Neuradaceae The Malvales are an order of flowering plants, mostly comprised of shrubs and trees. ... Subfamilies Bombacoideae Brownlowioideae Byttnerioideae Dombeyoideae Grewioideae Helicteroideae Malvoideae Sterculioideae Tilioideae Malvaceae is family of flowering plants containing Malva, the mallow genus, and its relatives. ... Species See text Abelmoschus is a genus of about 15 species of flowering plants in the mallow family Malvaceae, native to tropical Africa. ... Latin name redirects here. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Conrad Moench (1744-1805) was a German botanist, Professor of Botany at the Marburg University from 1786 until his death. ... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ... British English (BrE, BE, en-GB) is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere in the Anglophone world. ... Hindustani redirects here. ... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. ... Mallow is the common name of several closely related genera of plant in the family Malvaceae: Althaea – Marsh mallow Callirhoe – Poppy mallow Kosteletzkya – Seashore mallow Lavatera – Tree mallow or rose mallow Malacothamnus – Santa Cruz Island bush-mallow Malva – Mallow Malvaviscus – Turks cap mallow Sidalcea – Greek mallow Sphaeralcea – Globemallow Plants... For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Cocoa (disambiguation). ... Latin name redirects here. ...

The species is an annual or perennial, growing to 2 m tall. The leaves are 10–20 cm long and broad, palmately lobed with 5–7 lobes. The flowers are 4–8 cm diameter, with five white to yellow petals, often with a red or purple spot at the base of each petal. The fruit is a capsule up to 18 cm long, containing numerous seeds. Peas are an annual plant. ... Red Valerian, a perennial plant. ... Look up foliage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Flower (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fruit (disambiguation). ... A ripe red jalapeño cut open to show the seeds For other uses, see Seed (disambiguation). ...


Etymology, origin and distribution

Okra is occasionally referred to by an early, now incorrect synonym, Hibiscus esculentus L. The name "okra" is of West African origin and is cognate with "ọ́kụ̀rụ̀" in Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria. In various Bantu languages, okra is called "kingombo" or a variant thereof, and this is the origin of its name in Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French. The Arabic "bāmyah" is the basis of the names in the Middle East, the Balkans, Turkey, Greece, North Africa and Russia . In Southern Asia, its name is usually a variant of "bhindi" or "vendi". Synonyms (in ancient Greek, συν (syn) = plus and όνομα (onoma) = name) are different words with similar or identical meanings. ... West African refers to: West Africa An airline: West African Airlines [1] This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Igbo is a language spoken in Nigeria by around 18 million people (1999 WA), the Igbo, especially in the southeastern region once identified as Biafra. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu vs. ... Arabic redirects here. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Balkan redirects here. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa. ... This is a region of the continent of Asia that can have the following interpretations: The Indian Subcontinent and nearby islands in the Indian Ocean; see South Asia India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka All of Asia that is considered to be Southwest, South and Southeast Asia. ...

Okra flower bud and immature seed pod
Okra flower bud and immature seed pod

The species apparently originated in the Ethiopian Highlands, though the manner of distribution from there is undocumented. The Egyptians and Moors of the 12th and 13th centuries used the Arab word for the plant, suggesting that it had come from the east. The plant may thus have been taken across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb strait to the Arabian Peninsula, rather than north across the Sahara. One of the earliest accounts is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216, who described the plant under cultivation by the locals who ate the tender, young pods with meal.[2] Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Ethiopian Highlands with Ras Dashan in the background. ... Look up moor, Moor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Arabic is a Semitic language, closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... The Bab-el-Mandeb (Arabic for the gate of tears) is the strait separating the continents of Asia (Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula) and Africa (Somalia on the Horn of Africa), connecting the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Aden). ... Arabia redirects here. ... For other uses, see Flour (disambiguation). ...

From Arabia, the plant spread around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and eastward. The lack of a word for okra in the ancient languages of India suggests that it arrived there after the birth of Christ. The plant was introduced to the Americas by ships plying the Atlantic slave trade[3] by 1658, when its presence was recorded in Brazil. It was further documented in Suriname in 1686. Okra may have been introduced to the southeastern North America in the early 18th century and gradually spread. It was being grown as far north as Philadelphia by 1748, while Thomas Jefferson noted that it was well established in Virginia by 1781. It was commonplace throughout the southern United States by 1800 and the first mention of different cultivars was in 1806.[2] Mediterranean redirects here. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas in an equal-area projection The Americas are the lands of the New World, consisting of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the transatlantic slave trade, was the trade of African people supplied to the colonies of the New World that occurred in and around the Atlantic Ocean. ... North American redirects here. ... For other uses, see Philadelphia (disambiguation) and Philly. ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This Osteospermum Pink Whirls is a successful cultivar. ...


Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 30 kcal   150 kJ
Carbohydrates     7.6 g
- Dietary fibre  3.2 g  
Fat 0.1 g
Protein 2.0 g
Folate (Vit. B9)  87.8 μg  22%
Vitamin C  21 mg 35%
Calcium  75 mg 8%
Magnesium  57 mg 15% 
Vitamin A (660 IU)
Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.

Abelmoschus esculentus is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world for its fibrous fruits or pods containing round, white seeds. The fruits are harvested when immature and eaten as a vegetable. Lactose is a disaccharide found in milk. ... Dietary fibers are the indigestible portion of plant foods that move food through the digestive system, absorbing water and making defecation easier. ... In chemistry, especially biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid often with a long unbranched aliphatic tail (chain), which is either saturated or unsaturated. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin showing coloured alpha helices. ... Folic acid (the anion form is called folate) is a B-complex vitamin (once called vitamin M) that is important in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs) in the developing human fetus. ... This article is about the nutrient. ... For other uses, see Calcium (disambiguation). ... Introduction Magnesium is an essential element in biological systems. ... Reference Daily Intake (RDI) is the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient to meet the requirements of nearly all (97–98%) healthy individuals in each life-stage and gender group. ... For other uses, see Vegetable (disambiguation). ...

In Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Yemen,[4] and other parts of the eastern Mediterranean, okra is widely used in a thick stew made with vegetables and meat. In Indian cooking, it is sauteed or added to gravy-based preparations and is very popular in South India. In Caribbean islands okra is cooked up and eaten as soup, often with fish. In Haiti it is use in rice and maiz and also with meat for sauce. It became a popular vegetable in Japanese cuisine toward the end of the 20th century, served with soy sauce and katsuobushi or as tempura. It is used as a thickening agent in gumbo. Breaded, deep fried okra is served in the southern United States. The immature pods may also be pickled. The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... Not to be confused with Native American cuisine. ... There are many views as to what defines Japanese cuisine, as the everyday food of the Japanese people has diversified immensely over the past century or so. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Korean name Hangul: Vietnamese name Quoc Ngu: Soy sauce (US) or soya sauce is a fermented sauce made from soybeans (soya beans), roasted grain, water and salt. ... Katsuobushi shavings from a package Katsuobushi (鰹節; かつおぶし) (Chinese: 柴魚; chai2 yu2; lit. ... For the paint and art technique, see tempera. ... A bowl of shrimp gumbo Gumbo is a spicy, hearty stew or soup, found typically in the states on the Gulf of Mexico in the United States, and very common in the southern part of Louisiana and the Lowcountry around Charleston, South Carolina. ...

Okra fruits used as a vegetable
Okra fruits used as a vegetable
Okra slices show the pentagonal cross-section of the fruit
Okra slices show the pentagonal cross-section of the fruit

Okra leaves may be cooked in a similar manner as the greens of beets or dandelions.[5] The leaves are also eaten raw in salads.[citation needed] Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a non-caffeinated substitute for coffee.[2] As imports were disrupted by the American Civil War in 1861, the Austin State Gazette noted, "An acre of okra will produce seed enough to furnish a plantation of fifty negroes with coffee in every way equal to that imported from Rio."[6] Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Look up pentagon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Binomial name Carolus Linnaeus Beta vulgaris, commonly known as beet is a flowering plant species in the family Chenopodiaceae. ... For other uses, see Dandelion (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Coffee (disambiguation). ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... This article is about crop plantations. ... Negro is a term referring to people of Black African ancestry. ... This article is about the Brazilian city. ...

Okra forms part of several regional 'signature' dishes. Frango com quiabo (chicken with okra) is a Brazilian dish that is especially famous in the region of Minas Gerais. Gumbo, a hearty stew whose key ingredient is okra, is found throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States. The word "gumbo" is based on the Central Bantu word for okra, "kigombo", via the Caribbean Spanish "guingambó" or "quimbombó".[2] It is also an expected ingredient in callaloo, a Caribbean dish and the national dish of Trinidad & Tobago. Okra is also enjoyed in Nigeria where okra soup (Draw soup) is a special delicacy with Garri(eba)or akpu. Brazils population is a racial mix of native Amerindians, Africans, Germans, Syrians, Lebanese and Asians. ... Capital (and largest city) Belo Horizonte Demonym Mineiro Government  -  Governor Aécio Neves  -  Vice Governor Antônio Augusto Junho Anastasia Area  -  Total 588,528. ... A bowl of shrimp gumbo Gumbo is a spicy, hearty stew or soup, found typically in the states on the Gulf of Mexico in the United States, and very common in the southern part of Louisiana and the Lowcountry around Charleston, South Carolina. ... States that border the Gulf of Mexico are shown in red The Gulf Coast region of the United States comprises the coasts of states which border the Gulf of Mexico. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu vs. ... Amaranth Taro Xanthosoma This article is about Caribbean soup sometimes called pepperpot. ... West Indies redirects here. ...

Okra oil is a pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of the okra. The greenish yellow edible oil has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats such as oleic acid and linoleic acid.[7] The oil content of the seed is quite high at about 40%. Oil yields from okra crops are also high. At 794 kg/ha, the yield was exceeded only by that of sunflower oil in one trial.[8] A vegetable oil or vegoil is an oil extracted from oilseeds or another plant source. ... An unsaturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there are one or more double bonds in the fatty acid chain. ... Oleic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in various animal and vegetable sources. ... Linoleic acid (LA) is an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. ... Sunflower Oil is the non-volatile oil expressed from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. ...

Unspecified parts of the plant reportedly possess diuretic properties.[9][10] This illustration shows where some types of diuretics act, and what they do. ...


Okra flowers range from white to yellow
Okra flowers range from white to yellow

Abelmoschus esculentus is among the most heat- and drought-tolerant vegetable species in the world. It will tolerate poor soils with heavy clay and intermittent moisture. Severe frost can damage the pods.[citation needed] Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 584 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1895 × 1944 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 584 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1895 × 1944 pixel, file size: 1. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland For the American hard rock band, see SOiL. For the System of a Down song, see Soil (song). ... For other uses, see Clay (disambiguation). ...

It is an annual crop in the southern United States.

In cultivation, the seeds are soaked overnight prior to planting to a depth of 1-2 cm. Germination occurs between six days (soaked seeds) and three weeks. Seedlings require ample water.[citation needed] The seed pods rapidly become fibrous and woody and must be harvested within a week of the fruit being pollinated to be edible.[2] Not to be confused with Gemination in phonetics. ...

The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic "goo" when the seed pods are cooked. In order to avoid this effect, okra pods are often stir fried, so the moisture is cooked away, or paired with slightly acidic ingredients, such as citrus or tomatoes. The cooked leaves are also a powerful soup thickener.[citation needed]

See also

  • Molokhiya, also called "bush okra"
  • Luffa, also called "Chinese okra"

Binomial name Corchorus olitorius L. Molokhiya (Arabic: ملوخية), also called bush okra or jute mallow, is a species of jute grown in many warm and tropical regions as a fiber crop and a mucilaginous leaf vegetable. ... Species (Angled luffa, Ridged Luffa) (Smooth luffa, Egyptian luffa) (Sponge cucumber) and others A luffa sponge whose coarse texture helps with skin polishing. ...


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  1. ^ [1], Webster's Online Dictionary: Okra. Rerieved 2006-09-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Okra, or 'Gumbo,' from Africa, tamu.edu
  3. ^ " Okra gumbo and rice" by Sheila S. Walker, The News Courier, unknown date
  4. ^ Julia Devlin and Peter Yee. Trade Logistics in Developing Countries: The Case of the Middle East and North Africa. p. 445
  5. ^ Okra Greens and Corn Saute, recipe copyrighted to "c.1996, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger", hosted by foodnetwork.com
  6. ^ Austin State Gazette [TEX.], November 9, 1861, p. 4, c. 2, copied in Confederate Coffee Substitutes: Articles from Civil War Newspapers, University of Texas at Tyler
  7. ^ Franklin W. Martin (1982). "Okra, Potential Multiple-Purpose Crop for the Temperate Zones and Tropics". Economic Botany 36: 340-345. 
  8. ^ Mays, D.A., W. Buchanan, B.N. Bradford, and P.M. Giordano (1990). "Fuel production potential of several agricultural crops". Advances in new crops: 260-263. 
  9. ^ Felter, Harvey Wickes & Lloyd, John Uri. "Hibiscus Esculentus.—Okra.", King's American Dispensatory, 1898, retrieved March 23, 2007.
  10. ^ "Abelmoschus esculentus - (L.)Moench.", Plants for a Future, June 2004, retrieved March 23, 2007.

Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The News Courier is a daily newspaper published in Athens, Alabama, covering Limestone County, Alabama. ... is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The University of Texas at Tyler, also referred to as UT Tyler, is a public university located in Tyler, Texas, USA. It has a student body of over 5,900, a 17:1 student to faculty ratio, and a sprawling, park-like campus. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Watch Your Garden Grow - Okra (1563 words)
Okra (also known as gumbo), is a tall-growing, warm-season, annual vegetable from the same family as hollyhock, rose of Sharon and hibiscus.
Okra varieties, unlike certain tomato varieties, are not resistant to verticillium and fusarium wilt.
Okra was brought to the new world by African slaves during the slave trade.
Wegmans Fresh Products Produce Okra (224 words)
When cooked, okra gives off a sticky juice that will thicken any liquid to which it is added.
If okra is used in a soup, stew or casserole that requires longer cooking, it should be cut up and allowed to exude its juices.
Do not cook okra in brass, iron or copper utensils, which will discolor the pods (although this will not affect their quality).
  More results at FactBites »



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