Okra, [OH-kruh] Hibiscus esculentus L. (syn. Abelmoschus esculentus) is of the Malvaceae or mallow family along with hollyhock and hibiscus.

It is know by many names: Lady Fingers, Gombo, Okro, Ochro, Okoro, Quimgombo.

A tall-growing, warm-season, annual vegetable, okra has large, attractive, hibiscus like yellow flowers; heart-shaped, lobed leaves with long stems attached to a thick woody stem.

The fruit, a long generally ribbed fuzzy pod developing in the leaf axil, grows rapidly after flowering. The edible part is the fruit pod which varies in color from yellow to red to green.

Most cultivars are adapted to high temperatures and a wide range of soil types. Average temperatures of 68-80 º F are best for growth, flowering and pod development.

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