Abelmoschus esculentus

(Linnaeus) Moench

Methodus,617. 1794

Common names: Okra gumbo lady’s finger
Basionyms: Hibiscus esculentus
Found in FNA Volume 6. Treatment on page 220. Mentioned on page 188.
FNA6 P24 Waltheria detonsa.jpeg
Plants 1–2 m. Stems often red blotched, coarse. Leaf blades scarcely lobed to palmately divided, 10–25 cm, ± broader than long. Pedicels not articulated, stout; involucellar bractlets linear, to 2.5 cm. Flowers: corolla to 8 cm diam.; staminal column anther-bearing from near base, apex 5-toothed. Capsules cylindric, slightly 5-angled, beaked, 8–30 cm. 2n = 72, 108, 118, 120, 122, 130, 132, 144.

Phenology: Flowering spring–fall.
Habitat: Fertile, well-drained soil with ample moisture, waste places
Elevation: 0–30 m


Introduced; Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Va., s Asia, Africa, sw Pacific Islands, introduced also in Mexico and elsewhere nearly worldwide.


Abelmoschus esculentus is a cultigen, apparently domesticated in India for the edible, unripe, succulent, mucilaginous young capsule and edible leaves; it may escape from commercial and garden cultivation and sometimes persist in waste places.



AuthorDavid M. Bates +
BasionymHibiscus esculentus +
Common nameOkra +, gumbo + and lady’s finger +
Elevation0–30 m +
HabitatFertile, well-drained soil with ample moisture, waste places +
IllustratorLinny Heagy +
PhenologyFlowering spring–fall. +
ReferenceNone +
Taxon nameAbelmoschus esculentus +
Taxon parentAbelmoschus +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 6 +