Tuesday, September 08, 2009


I never thought much about okra. I liked it in gumbo but never considered the plant, thought I'm educated as a botanist. A non-practicing botanist, however. I never thought about okra until on impulse, I decided to grow it. It's a lovely plant with large maple-like leaves and a tree-like form, but hibiscus-like flowers. A mallow, I said to myself, a hibiscus! I wanted to look it up, but I'm getting a little forgetful--I never remembered to do it! Finally, I did, and lo and behold, it's of course a mallow and one of its alternate generic names is Hibiscus! Wahoo.

Abelmoschus esculentus. Malvaceae. I'm not TOTALLY senile yet! How fun! It brought back memories of eating mallows and concocting soups and "poisons" as a child with hollyhock flowers and seeds. Sorry the bugs have gotten at this blossom. I use no sprays.


Louise said...

I used to grow okra when in elementary school and sell it to a local market. As the daughter of an amateur photographer, I would beg the camera to take pictures of the beautiful flowers, but until this post I never made the connection with mallow or hibiscus. It makes perfect sense.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Isn't it wonderful--I was so excited! :-D