Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench, Meth. Pl. 617. 1794. Hibiscus esculentus L., Sp. Pl. 696. 1753; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 343. 1874. H. longifolius Wllld., Sp. Pl. 3: 827. 1800; Roxb., Fl. Ind. 3: 210. 1832.


Beng.: Dehras, Bhindi; Hindi: Bhindi, Bhidi tori, Ram turai; Guj.: Binda; Kan.: Bhende; Mar.: Bhendi; Mal.: Bandai, Venda; Tel.: Venda, Bendakai; Tam.: Vendai, Vendakai.

Herbs or undershrubs, ca 0.5 - 2 m high, stems and branches scattered with short stiff simple hairs, ultimately glabrescent. Leaves 4 - 20 x 4 - 25 cm, cordate at base, lamina variuosly dissected, usually 5 - 7-lobed, lobes acute, subacuminate at apex; petioles 4 - 30 cm long, accrescent up to 5 cm. Epicalyx segments 7 - 10, 5 - 10 x 1 - 2.5 mm. Calyx 2 - 3 cm long. Petals up to 5 cm long, yellow or whitish-yellow with dark purple centre. Capsules 5 - 20 (- 25) cm long. Seeds 3 - 5 mm, minutely warty, glabrous, dark brown.

Fl. & Fr. Throughout the year.

Cultivated in most tropical countries including India.

Notes. Numerous cultivars of this species are under cultivation. Some of the best known are 'clemson', 'spineless', 'American long green' and 'white velvet'. A new type Pusa Makhmali', isolated by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi bears green pods 15 - 20 cm long, straight, 5-ribbed and smooth. (Ambedkar, Bull. Dep. Agric. Bombay, No. 146. 1927; Venkataram, Madras Agric. J. 1945.)

Unripe fruits are used as vegetable throughout India. The bland mucilage from the fruits and seeds are medicinal.




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