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Home » Plant infomation

Abelmoschus caillei  (A. Chev.) Stevels


Botanical Name


Abelmoschus caillei (A. Chev.) Stevels

English Name


West African okra



Hibiscus manihot L. var. caillei A.Chev., Hibiscus manihot auct. non L., Abelmoschus manihot auct. non (L.) Medik., Hibiscus esculentus auct. non L., Abelmoschus esculentus auct. non (L.) Moench.





General Info


Stout, annual to biennial, erect herb up to 4 m tall, mostly strongly branched; stem often woody at base, terete, glabrous or with scattered, stiff hairs, often red-blotched; branches erect to curved downwards. Leaves arranged spirally, simple, variable in shape and size; stipules filiform, up to 2 cm long, covered with stiff hairs, especially on the margins; petiole up to 60 cm long, often red-tinged, with a line of soft, simple hairs on the upper side, otherwise glabrous or with scattered, stiff hairs; blade transversally elliptical to orbicular in outline, up to 50 cm broad, length of midrib up to 35 cm, mostly 3-, 5- or 7-palmatilobed to palmatipartite, cordate at base, 5–9-veined, segments triangular, ovate, elliptical, obovate, oblong, spatulate or lanceolate, acuminate, serrate to crenate, sometimes entire or angular, veins on both sides with scattered, stiff hairs. Flowers axillary, solitary or racemose by reduction or abortion of the upper leaves; pedicel up to 4.5 cm long in flower, up to 13 cm in fruit, glabrous or with scattered, stiff hairs; epicalyx segments 5–10, free, ovate to oblong, 10–35 mm × 4–13 mm, acute to acuminate, generally persistent through early fruit development, covered with stiff hairs, especially on the margins; calyx spathaceous, 2–7 cm long, 5-toothed apically, usually splitting on one side at the expansion of the corolla, adnate to and caducous with the corolla and staminal column, sericeous outside, often mixed with short, simple and stellate hairs, strigose to sericeous inside; petals 5, free, obovate to orbicular, 4–9 cm long, base fleshy, apex obtuse to retuse, glabrous, yellow, often turning pink after anthesis, with a dark purple centre; stamens united into a staminal column up to 3.5 cm long, white, glabrous; ovary superior, tomentose, often with some stiff hairs on the costae as well, 5–12 style arms 3–5 mm long, stigmas dark purple, with simple hairs. Fruit an erect to drooping, ovoid capsule 5–25 cm × 1–5 cm, acuminate, terete to 5–12-angled, concave between the costae, gradually losing its original indumentum, when young varying in colour from purple-red and reddish-green to dark green, and from pale green to yellow, completely or partially loculicidal or not opening at all, up to 100-seeded. Seeds globose to ovoid, 3–5 mm in diameter, with minute warts in concentric rows, rarely with long red hairs on the seed coat.

Herb Effects

Emollient, sudorific or antiscorbutic (leaves)


PROTAbase: Abelmoschus caillei



Medicinal Use

The leaves are used to treat dysuria. The mucilage from leaves has been used as a blood plasma replacement or blood volume expander.



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