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Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench
...Long for Okra

Abelm-oscus esculemtis (L.) moench is the horticultural name for okra. Probably everybody but me knew this already.  And, you probably already knew that the pods of the okra plant were called "fruit". 

Now in my opinion, I think of "fruit" as for dessert by itself or perhaps with ice cream. I cannot think of okra as something you eat raw or in a pie or okra cocktail; I do not think that I ever want okra as a dessert. I do, however, like boiled okra, fried okra, and okra in soup or goulash.

Besides okra as an edible vegetable, it has a lovely blossom with green foliage, which makes it ornamental as well.

I stopped by Mr. Senger's home in the south part of town recently to admire his cannas and his collection of thornless prickly pears. It seems that prickly pears are the only thing I can grow that grasshoppers do not eat up. Mr. Senger also had okra, which he shared with me along with some of his thornless prickly pears. I have heard that these "pears" are also edible so I may need a recipe for prickleless pear preserves.

Wonder if they are classified as fruit or vegetable?



Printed in the Comanche Chief newspaper, September 2002