Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Flowering Okra (Abelmoschus manihot)

Flowering Okra
Abelmoschus manihot
(a-bel-MOS-kus) (MAN-ee-hot)
Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ay)
Synonyms: Sweet Hibiscus, Edible Hibiscus, Palmate-leaved Hibiscus

This is probably going to be the most interesting flower that I saw all summer. It was planted at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford, Connecticut. The plant was not too much to look at (a bit tall and stalky) but the flower really captured my fancy. If it hadn’t had a sign (which I took a picture of for reference) I wouldn’t have known what it was, although I would have guessed the Hibiscus family. I actually used the flash on this photo, which is something I usually avoid like the plague. I guess it is the fear of the unknown type of thing. I think it is more like the on-board flash usually washes everything out and is difficult to control. I want a Nikon Speedlight for Christmas.

Here is a link on the Flowering Okra. They explain everything better than I could.

Here are a couple excerpts that I found interesting:

“The Malvaceae family has a number of food plants. One of these is Abelmoschus esculentus, or Okra. It is best known for its mucilaginous* seedpods which are fried or used to thicken soups and stews. However, this is a true multipurpose plant with edible leaves, flowers, seedpods and mature seeds. It is an annual and is very heat tolerant and relatively free from pests.”
“While the large yellow flowers are very ornamental, the importance of this plant is that it is one of the world's most nutritious leafy vegetables because of its high protein content. The leaves are tender and sweet and can be served raw or steamed (leaffor life).”
(This series is being compiled by Colleen Keena from Queensland, Australia, Kristin Yanker-Hansen from California, USA, and Marcos Capelini from São Paulo, Brazil.)

1. Resembling mucilage; moist and sticky.
2. Relating to or secreting mucilage.

Yesterday I got a little too much sun. It started out as a low-grade headache and then I got sick to my stomach. Luckily it was at the end of the day. I also might have been partially dehydrated. I think it was from pole pruning most of the day, which required looking up at the sun. I most definitely got sunburned on my forehead, which for me is a little unusual. I feel better this morning but it looks like another hot day. It wasn’t as bad as the time a couple of years ago when I got too much sun and became disoriented on the way home. That was scary. It just goes to show that even people that work outside all day and are used to the sun can feel the effects.

Here is an interesting Lily I saw blooming at Bartlett.


NYCindividual said...

Beatiful flowers! I don't know what else to say. I love gardens, even though I'm not a garderner myself, nor do I know anything about flowers other than the fact that they are beautiful.

Digital Flower Pictures said...


RBChallenger said...

Great information and great photos. I am just getting into flower photography myself, I have a lot to learn so I plan to bookmark this site and check back often.

If you get a chance I'd love to have you stop by my site and give me some feedback and any information you deem fit. Great site!!!

Ki said...

The flash worked great. The ones on the point and shoot cameras are usually terrible especially when shooting flowers at a close distance. Only to be used if absolutely necessary. Better to get a lousy photo than none at all.

I planted okra several year ago and thought the flowers were very beautiful though they only lasted a day. I didn't know the leaves were edible though I remember many several year back there was a buzz about an edible hibiscus. Apparently you could eat the flower pods much as you would okra and the leaves were also edible. I think it was a dark purple colored plant.

I love the elegant colors of the lily.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

rb, Thanks for visiting and the kind words. I'll try and get over to your site.

Ki, thanks for the additional information. I'll probably stick to lettuce.:lol: The lily was a different and beautiful color.