This image is of the flower of Okra Abelmoschus esculentus.
Okra, also known as bhindi, bendi, lady’s finger, gumbo is a member of the mallow family (Malvaceae) related to Cotton, Hibiscus & Hollyhock. These are a group of plants that exude a gelatinous substance when sliced. This substance is called mucilage.It is the mucilage which contributes to the slime factor in okra.
Okra is an annual that grows 3-8' tall and bears yellow flowers that give rise to the familiar okra pods so common in India as a fried vegetable. Okra's attractive blossoms are ivory or yellow in color, funnel-shaped and resemble hibiscus flowers. The throat of the flower is maroon. The plant is a rather coarse annual with large lobed, slightly spiny leaves and a thick, semiwoody stem with few branches.
Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer. Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid is also present in a half cup of cooked okra. Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid.
Interesting Trivia on Okra's scientific name :
"Esculentus", means 'edible' in Latin while "Abelmoschus" is derived from the Arabic "abu-l-mosk" (meaning 'father of musk'), referring to the musk-scented seeds. Hibiscus again is the Greek name for mallow.
In this case, someone thought that okra belongs to the Hibiscus family (mallow plants), and named it accordingly. Later, some other scientist found so many differences from the Hibiscus, that he thought that the plant must get a family name of its own. This renaming of plants in different countries and by different scientists will continue until a final, modern DNA analysis is made on all plants and their real relations will be revealed. And that will take years, if not hundreds of years. We will have to live with several synonyms for most plants.
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