Abelmoschus alborubens Benth.
Abelmoschus alboruber F.Muell.
Abelmoschus strictus Voigt
Hibiscus ficulneus L.
Hibiscus mauritianus Spreng.
Hibiscus prostratus Roxb.
Hibiscus sinuatus Cav.
Hibiscus strictus Roxb.
Laguna aculeata Cav.
Laguna angulata G.Don
Laguna sinuata Hornem.
Abelmoschus ficulneus is a much-branched, prickly annual plant growing from 2 - 5 metres tall with a thick stem that becomes woody near the base[
]. Plants can grow 4 metres or more tall[
The plant grows luxuriantly and yields an excellent quality fibre - it has been recommended for commercial production. The plant is harvested from the wild as a local source of food, it is also cultivated, or at least partially tended, as a vegetable and is often grown as an ornamental[
Abelmoschus ficulneus is widespread throughout its native region. Although the current population trend is unknown, given its widespread distribution and occurrence in a variety of habitats at a range of altitudes, it is suspected that the population is large. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2019)[
Eastern tropical Africa - Chad to Somalia, south to Mozambique; Niger, Nigeria, Madagascar; E. Asia - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia; Australia.
Usually found in grassland, bushland, fallows or as a weed in cultivated land. It also occurs in water-logged soils near rivers. Found at elevations from near sea level to 1,350 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Semi-cultivated, Wild
A plant of low to moderate elevations, growing from near sea level to 1,350 metres. It is found mainly in areas with a distinct dry season[
The plant thrives luxuriantly with little or no care, yet is very little cultivated for its fibre[
]. The seed is sown in beds in May, and when the plants are 15cm tall they are set out in rows 22cm apart each way. The luxuriant growth and habits of the plant commend it to serious attention[
Stems and roots - roasted[
Seeds - often used in sweetmeats[
]. Eaten in times of food scarcity[
Leaves - eaten in times of food scarcity[
The seeds are used for scenting coffee and improving its taste[
The green stem produces a mucilaginous extract which is an efficient clarifier of sugar-cane syrup[
The leaves, crushed with salted water, are used as a treatment against diarrhoea[
A decoction of the crushed fresh root is taken to treat calcium deficiency[
In case of a scorpion bite, the root is crushed in a glass of water and drunk, while the root paste is applied on the area of the sting[
A good quality fibre is obtained from the stems[
]. The white fibre is long, glossy, fine and strong[
]. It is used for twine and light cordage[
Abelmoschus ficulneus (L.) Wight & Arn. is a tertiary wild relative of, and potential gene donor to, okra A.
esculentus (L.) Moench[
Seed - it can be sown in situ, or in a nursery seedbed and planted out when 15 - 25cm tall.
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