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Abelmoschus moschatus - Medik.                
Common Name Musk Mallow,Musk Okra
Family Malvaceae
Synonyms Hibiscus abelmoschus.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open places in Nepal at elevations of 600 - 1100 metres[272]. Flat areas, valleys, stream sides and scrub slopes in western and southern China[266].
Range S.E. Asia - Himalayas to China and Vietnam.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Abelmoschus moschatus is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Abelmoschus moschatus Musk Mallow,Musk Okra

Abelmoschus moschatus Musk Mallow,Musk Okra
 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Oil;  Root;  Seed;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Oil.

Young leaves and shoots - cooked in soups[183, 272]. Used as a vegetable[238]. The leaves are also used to clarify sugar[183]. Unripe seedpods - cooked as a vegetable in much the same way as okra (A. esculentus)[183, 238, 272]. Seed - cooked[272]. It is fried or roasted and has a flavour similar to sesame seeds[272]. The seed is also used as a flavouring for liqueurs or to scent coffee[183, 238]. An essential oil is obtained from the plant and is used to flavour baked goods, ice cream, sweets and soft drinks[183]. Root[183]. No more details are given, though the root is likely to have a bland flavour and a fibrous texture.
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antihalitosis;  Antispasmodic;  Aphrodisiac;  Appetizer;  Aromatherapy;  Digestive;  Nervine;  Stomachic;  Vulnerary.

An emulsion made from the seed is antispasmodic and is especially effective in the digestive system[4, 238]. The seeds are also chewed as a nervine, stomachic and to sweeten the breath[4, 238]. They are also said to be aphrodisiac[4, 238]. The seeds are valued medicinally for their diuretic, demulcent and stomachic properties. They are also said to be stimulant, antiseptic, cooling, tonic, carminative and aphrodisiac. A paste of the bark is applied to cuts, wounds and sprains[272]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety[238]. It is also applied externally to treat cramp, poor circulation and aching joints[238].
Other Uses
Essential;  Fibre;  Insecticide;  Oil;  Size.

An essential oil is obtained from the plant[238]. It is used as a food flavouring and in perfumery as a musk substitute[238]. However, it has been known to cause photosensitivity so this use has been largely discontinued[238]. An oil obtained from the seed contains 18.9% linoleic acid[240]. The oil is f high econmic value[266]. Total yields of oil are not given[K]. The seeds are used as an insecticide[4, 238]. Another report says that extracts of the fruits and upper parts of the plant show insecticidal activity[240]. A fibre is obtained from the stem bark[238]. It is used to make ropes[272]. A mucilage obtained from the roots is used as a size for paper[238].
Cultivation details                                         
Easily grown in a rich well-drained soil in a sunny position[238]. Tolerates a pH in the range 6 to 7.8. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c and can be grown outdoors in the milder areas of the country[238]. The plant grows as a shrub in frost-free climates but is usually cut back to the ground in British winters. So long as these winters are not too cold, however, it can usually be grown as a herbaceous perennial with new shoots being produced freely from the root-stock. These flower in the summer[238]. It is probably wise to apply a good mulch to the roots in the autumn[K]. It is best to cut back the stems to about 15cm long in the spring even if they have not been killed back by the frost[238]. This will ensure an abundance of new growth and plenty of flowers in the summer. The musk mallow is widely cultivated in tropical climates for its many uses[238]. There is at least one named form, selected for its ornamental value. 'Mischief' is somewhat smaller than the species, reaching a height of 50cm[238].
Seed - sow April in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best at a temperature around 24 - 24°c[238]. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of rich soil and plant them out after the last expected frosts[K]. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April in areas with warm summers. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July in a frame[238].
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[266] Flora of China
On-line version of the Flora - an excellent resource giving basic info on habitat and some uses.
[272]Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Hong Duong Sun Mar 25 2007
Can anybody help me find suppliers of Abelmoschus moschatus Medik. seeds for cultivation purpose ? Please reply directly to dxb@secoin.vn.
Elizabeth H.
dr.j.p.pathak Sat Mar 28 2009

ablemoschus muschotus contect as farmar

Elizabeth H.
nitisha Tue Jun 9 2009
this website is pretty good and i love this website
Elizabeth H.
neeraj Tue Sep 8 2009
sir pls send the same detail about plant sanjeevani(selaginela bryopteris) thanks
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Subject : Abelmoschus moschatus  

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