Economic Botany

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 340-345

First online:

Okra, potential multiple-purpose crop for the temperate zones and tropics

  • Franklin W. MartinAffiliated withResearch Horticulturist, Mayaguez Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S.D.A.

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Immature okra pods are commonly consumed as a vegetable. In addition, okra has attributes that could permit it to be used for other purposes. Leaves, buds, and flowers are edible; dried seeds could provide oil, protein, vegetable curd and a coffee additive or substitute. Foliage could be used for biomass, and the dried stems could serve as a source of paper pulp or fuel. The possible gossypol and cyclopropenoid contents of okraseed must be considered when food or feed use for monogastrates is contemplated. Although little development work has been done with okra, available germ plasm appears to be sufficiently diverse to permit genetic improvement.