Okra, Abelmoschus esculentus, known in many English-speaking countries as ladies' fingers or ochro, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. It is of West African, Ethiopian, and South Asian origins.
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), native to Africa and related to hibiscus, arrived in North America in the 1600s. This edible green seed pods quickly became popular in the Deep South as both a side dish and a thickening for gumbo and stews. As a crop, oka thrives in any climate where corn will grow. The large-flowered, fast-growing plants reach 2 to 6 feet tall depending on the cultivar. Varieties with colorful stems and leaves, such as Burgundy, also make attractive garden borders.