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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.

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: 
2001 Jul 18 to 2001 Oct 122002 Jun 28 to 2002 Sep 132003 Jul 14 to 2003 Sep 262004 Jul 19 to 2004 Sep 292005 Jul 20 to 2005 Oct 252006 Jul 20 to 2006 Oct 112007 Jul 20 to 2007 Sep 282008 Aug 1 to 2008 Oct 312009 Sep 1 to 2009 Oct 142011 Aug 8 to 2011 Sep 162012 Jun 22 to 2012 Nov 72013 Sep 28 to 2013 Oct 302014 Jul 10 to 2014 Oct 232015 Jul 22 to 2015 Oct 1
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