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Abelmoschus esculentus.jpg
Abelmoschus esculentus leaves,
flower buds and young fruit
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Tribe: Hibisceae
Genus: Abelmoschus

See text

Abelmoschus is a genus of about fifteen species of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae, native to tropical Africa, Asia and northern Australia. It was formerly included within Hibiscus, but is now classified as a distinct genus.

The genus comprises annual and perennial herbaceous plants, growing to 2 m tall. The leaves are 10–40 cm long and broad, palmately lobed with 3-7 lobes, the lobes are very variable in depth, from barely lobed, to cut almost to the base of the leaf. The flowers are 4–8 cm diameter, with five white to yellow petals, often with a red or purple spot at the base of each petal. The fruit is a capsule, 5–20 cm long, containing numerous seeds.

Abelmoschus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Chionodes hibiscella which has been recorded on A. moschatus.

Selected species


Several species are edible, with both the young seed pods and the young leaves being eaten as a vegetable. The most important commercially-grown species is okra.

Abelmoschus manihot (aibika) furnishes cordage like jute, and Abelmoschus moschatus (abelmosk) is grown for musk seeds (musk ambrette, a musk substitute, which can cause phytophotodermatitis[citation needed]).[3]

Gallery of different species[edit]


  1. ^ "Abelmoschus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-03-12. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  2. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (1999). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. Boca Raton, Florida: Taylor & Francis. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8493-2675-2. OCLC 41361544. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  3. ^ "Wellness Library:Ambrette (Abelmoschus moschatus)".
  • Kundu BC, Biswas C. 1973. Anatomical characters for distinguishing the genera Abelmoschus and Hibiscus. Proc. Indian Sci. Congr. 60. (3): 295