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Abelmoschus esculentus

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 seeds can be scarified so that they imbibe water.
Abelmoschus esculentus seed exteriors
Abelmoschus esculentus seeds

Seed Storage

This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.

Germination Requirements

The seeds of this species may be Physically Dormant (based on other species in same genus).

Chip seeds with a scalpel before placing on agar, germination paper or sand. Germinate under a constant temperature of 25ºC or with an alternating temperature regime of 30/20ºC (with an 8/16hr photoperiod).

Seed Morphology

The fruit is a capsule (50–250 mm × 10–50 mm), round in cross-section with a pointed end. The fruit has up to 100 seeds, which are spherical or ovoid (3–6 mm in diameter), marked with minute warts in concentric rows, more densely than A. callei.

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 images of this species at VIRBOGA (The Virtual Botanic Garden) and at PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa database).



Accepted name: Abelmoschus esculentus Moench

Synonyms: Hibiscus esculentus L.

Common name: common okra, gombo, lady's fingers

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.
  • Rao, N.K., Hanson, J., Dulloo, M.E., Ghosh, K., Nowell, D. and Larinde, M. (2006). Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy.
  • 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 esculentus.
  • AVRDC - The World Vegetable Centre, Taiwan: fact sheet on Abelmoschus esculentus.
  • PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa database) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Abelmoschus esculentus.
  • SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Abelmoschus esculentus.
  • Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Abelmoschus esculentus.