Fresh Okra, Abelmoschus esculentus (a complex horticultural hybrid)

You may not like Okra, but it is a useful fruit, rife with mucilage that providies thickening to Gumbos as well as other stews and soups.  Cooks will expect Okra to show up in markets near Stringbeans, Zucchini and other green produce people pretend is not fruit. In my opinion, however, the best way to really get nice Okra is to grow your own – it’s an easy crop.

Okra cross-sections

Systematists would prefer Okra be placed near its relatives, like Roselle, or even the more distantly-related Cacao.  Carpologists know Okra matures as a dry, segmented capsule, a Loculicidal Capsule.  For cooking, the earlier Okra is harvested, the more tender and useful.