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Abelmoschus caillei

Why are the seeds of this species difficult? The seeds may have physical dormancy, which would have to be overcome before they will germinate. The testa can be softened so that the seeds will imbibe water.
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Seed Storage

This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible. Keep the seeds inside their pods in storage.

Germination Requirements

The seeds of this species are expected to be Physically Dormant (based on other species in same genus). Seed may be dormant for at least 2 months, especially those collected from drier regions.

Soak the seed in water before sowing, to soften the hard seed coat. Sow on agar, germination paper or sand and germinate under an alternating temperature regime of 30/20ºC, with an 8/16hr photoperiod (based on requirements for A. esculentus).

Seed Morphology

The fruit is an ovoid capsule (50–250 mm × 10–50 mm), round in cross-section with a pointed end. The fruit has up to 100 seeds, which are are kidney-shaped (3–5 mm in diameter) and hairy. The seeds are marked with minute warts in concentric rows, less densely than A. esculentus.

When immature, the fruit varies in colour from purple-red and reddish-green to dark green, and from pale green to yellow. The pods turn brown in colour and begin to split into segments when mature. Within a single fruit, there may be seeds at various stages of ripening.

See an image of this species at PROTAbase (Plant Resource of Tropical Africa database).



Accepted name: Abelmoschus caillei (A.Chev.) Stevels

Synonyms: Abelmoschus manihot auct., Hibiscus manihot var. caillei A.Chev.

Common name:

References and Links

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
  • International Seed Testing Association (2010). International Rules for Seed Testing: edition 2010. ISTA, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.
  • Schippers, R.R. (2000). African Indigenous Vegetables: an overview of the cultivated species. Natural Resources Insitute/ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, Chatham, UK.


  • AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Abelmoschus caillei.
  • PROTAbase (Plant Resouces of Tropical Africa database) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Abelmoschus caillei.
  • Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Abelmoschus caillei.