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Okra - Cows Horn

Hibiscus esculentus

In Notes on the State of Virginia, begun in 1781, Jefferson records that the gardens of his native state "yield musk melons, water melons, tomatoes, okra, pomegranates, figs, and the esculent plants of Europe." It wasn't until 1809, however, that he began to plant Okra, a native of Africa, on an annual basis at Monticello, generally in late March or early April. In 1817, for instance, he notes its planting in Monticello's Vegetable Garden on April 2 and its arrival at table on July 28, over sixteen weeks later. A member of the mallow family, Okra has large, handsome yellow flowers. The young fruiting pods were often combined with tomatoes for soups and gumbo in Jefferson family recipes. In 1813, Jefferson edged his "square," or plot of tomatoes with okra - a rather unusual combination of plant textures. Cows Horn is an heirloom Okra variety.

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Growth Type: 
Annual
Color(s): 
White, Purple
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9, Zone 10
Location at Monticello: 
Vegetable Garden
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
July 18, 2001 to October 12, 2001June 28, 2002 to September 13, 2002July 14, 2003 to September 26, 2003July 19, 2004 to September 29, 2004July 20, 2005 to October 25, 2005July 20, 2006 to October 11, 2006July 20, 2007 to September 28, 2007August 1, 2008 to October 31, 2008September 1, 2009 to October 14, 2009August 8, 2011 to September 16, 2011June 22, 2012 to November 7, 2012September 28, 2013 to October 30, 2013July 10, 2014 to October 23, 2014July 22, 2015 to October 1, 2015August 5, 2016 to October 14, 2016August 25, 2017 to November 3, 2017

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