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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Malvales

Familia: Malvaceae
Subfamilia: Malvoideae
Tribus: Hibisceae
Genus: Abelmoschus
Nothospecies: Abelmoschus × caillei

Abelmoschus × caillei (A.Chev.) Stevels (1988)

Hibiscus manihot var. caillei A.Chev., Rev. Bot. Appliq. 20: 322, t. 8. 1940.
Abelmoschus × glutino-textile Kagawa, in Sugim., Keys Herb. Pl. Jap. 1: 324. 1965.


This is an allopolyploid hybrid between Abelmoschus manihot and Abelmoschus esculentus (Hinsley 2009).

African Plants Database (version 3.4.0). 19. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Accessed: Feb.
Hinsley, S.R. 2009. Malvaceae Info. Abelmoschus Notes. Accessed: 2013 Feb 17 [1].
Stevels, J.M.C. 1988. Bulletin du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Section B, Adansonia: Botanique Phytochemie Sér. 4, 10 (2): 138.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Abelmoschus × caillei in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Abelmoschus caillei, the West African okra, is a plant species in the family Malvaceae. It occurs in humid areas of West and Central Africa,[2] where it is used as a vegetable.[3] It originated as an allopolyploid hybrid of Abelmoschus esculentus and A. manihot, and is often mistaken for either of those two plants.[1] It was officially described elevated to the status of a species in 1988.[4] The same hybrid was produced experimentally in Japan where it is known as Abelmoschus glutino-textile.


Abelmoschus caillei occurs as an erect and stout herb that is often woody at the base. Its flowers are axillary, with their petals yellow to pink.[1] The plant is typically 60-65 inches tall (though it may reach 85 inches).[5] The stems may be green, red, or green with some red pigmentation.[4] The seeds are typically ovoid to oblong in shape, about 3-5 inches long, and may have a rough surface.[4][5] The leaves are green and lobed, while petioles are typically purple.[5]

Abelmoschus caillei is consumed as a vegetable in a variety of ways, with young leaves being consumed as spinach and young fruits being consumed after being cooked or fried. Its edibility combined with its resistance to yellow vein mosaic virus allows the plant to be commonly cultivated in subsistence farming in high rainfall areas of West Africa.[6] Its leaves can also be used as cattle feed.[1]

Intensive contact with the fruit and plant may cause skin irritation.[7]

In Nigeria, the plant is used medicinally for sore throats and child bearing, as well as to make certain household items like rope and sponges.[8]

Umberto Quattrocchi (2016). CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (reprint ed.). CRC Press. p. 1. ISBN 9781482250640.
G. J. H. Grubben, ed. (2004). Vegetables. Plant resources of tropical Africa. 2. PROTA. p. 26. ISBN 9789057821479.
Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
"Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter - Morphological characterization of two species of Abelmoschus: Abelmoschus esculentus and Abelmoschus caillei". Retrieved 2021-03-16.
AdeOluwa, O.O.; Kehinde, O.B. (2011). "Genetic Variability Studies in West African Okra (Abelmoschus caillei)" (PDF). Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America. doi:10.5251/abjna.2011.2.10.1326.1335 (inactive 31 October 2021).
K. V. Peter (2007). Underutilized and Underexploited Horticultural Crops. 2. New India Publishing. p. 216. ISBN 9788189422691.
"Abelmoschus caillei - Useful Tropical Plants". Retrieved 2021-03-16.
Osawaru, M.E.; Ogwu, M.C. (September 2013). "Collecting West African Okra (Abelmoschus caillei (A. Chev.) Stevel) Germplasm from Traditional Agriculture in Parts of Southwestern Nigeria". The Bioscientist. 1 (2): 171–181 – via ResearchGate.

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