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White wild musk mallow

Abelmoschus ficulneus

Wild mallow (Eng.).

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This wild edible plant species is a close relative to the widely cultivated Okra species but has a smaller growth habit with miniature Okra flowers. This species can tolerate periods of high levels of water and is a great plant for moist gr​assland areas.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Harvest the seed pods for culinary used when the pods are no larger that 7 cm. Harvest the seed pods for seed, once the pod has dried up before it has dispersed the seeds. Harvest roots by digging them up at the middle to end of the growing season, wash thoroughly and roast before cooking. Harvest the fresh juicy leaves soon after they emerge. To prepare them: first, wash, and shallow pan fry them in ​oil with a layer of beer batter.

Propagation

Seed
Soak the seeds overnight to speed up the germination process. Sow 2-3 seeds per hole when the temperature is above 20 degrees Celsius at a depth of 1.5-2.5 cm and space them 45 to 90 cm apart.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
This species attracts these beneficial insects such as: beetles, bees and butterflies.
Pot plant
This species is smaller, but still require a large pot to grow to its maximum height.
Wet sites
This plant can withstand periods of high water levels.

Geography

Origin
India, Australia, Madagascar, and in Northern Africa.
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
The roots and leaves are eaten. They are pan or oven roasted. The seeds are used to flavour coffee.

Personality

Family
Malvaceae
Flower colour
, White, Red, Bicolour
Scent
Mild

Problems

This species has many pests such as aphids, vegetable leafminer and corn earworm. The best method to ensure they don't affect the crop production would be to apply organic pest resistant spray (garlic, chili, tobacco and soap spray) on the fruits and leaves.
Aphids
Aphids
Aphidoidea spp.

Companion plants

Plant with plants that have similar water needs.

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