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Abelmoschus esculentus, commonly known as okra, is a flowering plant that is native to Africa. It is a large, fast-growing shrub, growing 5-10 ft tall and producing beautiful white, off-white, and yellow-orange flowers. This plant runs on a shorter lifecycle than most other shrubs, taking only 120-165 days to mature.
Okra does best when grown in warm climates, where it can receive strong direct sunlight, and regular watering. It has adapted over time to thrive in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. As it is a climacteric crop, it benefits greatly from warm, humid days and cool nights.
Regular water needs will depend on the local climate, but okra requires moderate regular watering, even during seasonal to periodical droughts. Soil with a high drainage level and well-aerated conditions will help the plant thrive and reach its full potential.
The plant produces striking large edible seeds within green, finger-like pods. Young, tender okra can be used in stir-fry or soups either blanched or pickled, and raw okra is often used in cold salads. When cooked, it is similar to asparagus. In terms of taste, some describe it to be similar to a combination of mushrooms and eggplant.
Okra is packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. It also contains a healthy amount of dietary fibers, which can help maintain healthy digestion. Health benefits of okra also includes its ability to strengthen the immune system, lower stress, and improve skin and hair health.
In terms of yield, the plant can produce up to few hundred pods per plant, depending on the variety and local climate conditions. Therefore, okra is a great choice whether you are looking to have some fresh fruits in your household.
Valued as an ornamental plant, due to its colorful and attractive flowers. The leaves are alternate, rough, hairy, heart-shaped or 3-5 lobed with serrated margins. Flowers are Hibiscus-like.
Cultivated for aromatic oil from seeds. Young leaves, shoots, and unripe seedpods are cooked as a vegetable.
Toothache Plant is a medicinal herb that has been used for generations to manage the pain of toothaches. Both the leaves and the attractive golden flowers can be used as a natural anesthetic. Simply chew the leaves or flowers for a few seconds then you will experience a tingling and numbing sensation in your mouth. An infusion or tincture made from the Toothache Plant is said to promote gum and throat health due to its strong antibacterial properties. For culinary purposes, small amounts of shredded fresh leaves are said to add a unique flavor to salads. Cooked leaves lose their strong flavor and may be used as leafy greens. Both fresh and cooked leaves are used in dishes such as stews in northern Brazil. They are combined with chilis and garlic to add flavor and vitamins to other foods. The use of jambu extract as a food flavor is described as having an odor of citrus, herbal, tropical or musty odor, and its taste can be pungent, cooling, tingling, numbing, or effervescent.
Acmella Oleracea extract is considered a natural alternative to Botox. Applied topically, Acmella Oleracea reportedly reduces muscle tension, reducing facial wrinkles caused by tense or contracted facial muscles. It is considered a natural muscle relaxant and has been traditionally used as an herbal Orajel of sorts, thanks to the presence of analgesic alkylamides called spilanthol. This spilanthol is thought to have the same paralyzing effects on facial muscles as it does on gums, reducing wrinkles by relaxing the skin. It's seen in topical formulas and can easily penetrate the skin, inhibiting contractions in subcutaneous muscles.
The plant is a small, erect, it grows quickly and bears gold and red inflorescences. It is frost-sensitive but perennial in warmer climates. Can be grown in a container and as a houseplant.
The Lilly Pilly is fairly hardy and needs only a subtropical climate to flourish. Protection should be given from long or hard freezes. Plants enjoy profuse amounts of water, but will grow in drier areas. They grow best in areas of light sun or shade. Flowers are small and fluffy, with a creamy, white color. Flowering is generally Spring, and is followed by large bunches of the fruit which ripen a couple of months later.
The fast-growing, climbing vine is very hardy, and is capable of surviving slow temperature drops to -34 C (-30 F), although young shoots can be vulnerable to frost in the spring. This vine needs a strong (vines are heavy) support structure on which to grow such as a trellis, arbor, patio overhead, fence or wall.