Abelmoschus manihot (Aibika)
Species: A. manihot
Binomial name: Abelmoschus manihot
Synonym: Hibiscus manihot
Common names: Aibika, Okra, Tororo aoi, Sunset muskmallow, Sunset hibiscus, Edible Hibiscus, Hibiscus manihot.
Abelmoschus manihot is an edible pest free perennial from the South Pacific. Under good conditions, can grow to over three meters in height. It is atrue multi-purpose food plant with edible leaves, flowers, seed pods and mature seeds. It is best known for its mucilaginous seed pods which are fried or used to thicken soups and stews. The seeds are also toasted, ground and used as a substitute forcoffee. Petals are added to salads.
Abelmoschus manihot is one of the world's most nutritious leafy vegetables because of its high protein content. The young leaves are tender and sweet and can be served raw or steamed. In the Pacific Islands it is the main green vegetable of many villages there.
Abelmoschus manihot has a single central stem up to 3m and short sparse branches. It grows very quickly. It has large up to 15 cm hibiscus-like flowers which are borne on long pedicels at the apex of the plant. They are a cream/lemon colour and have deep purple centres.
The leaves vary in shape but are usually palmate, about 10 cm across.
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