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okra4511 | by Bob Richmond
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okra4511

Flower and fruit of okra, Abelmoschus esculentus, blooming in the University of Tennessee Gardens, Knoxville, August 10th, 2010.

If it looks like a hibiscus, that's because it IS a hibiscus. Okra is best known from Africa, but probably originated far to the east, perhaps in India. The curious genus name "Abelmoschus" is derived from the Arabic, abu-l-mosk, father of musk, in allusion to the musky smell of the seeds of Abelmoschus moschatus, the musk okra, another species in the genus. The word "okra" is derived from ọ́kụ̀rụ̀ in Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria, and is one of a quite small number of African words that made the Middle Passage.

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Taken on August 11, 2010