Hsibiscu longifolius Willd.
Erect, annual herb, 0.5-2.5 cm tall. Stem often tinged red, sparsely, simple, stiff hairy, somewhat rough. Leaves 5-30 cm long and broad, broadly ovate to orbicular, cordate at base, 5-7-nerved, simple and stiff hairy on both sides, glabrescent, angular or 3-7-lobed or parted; lobes ovate to lanceolate or oblong, coarsely serrate to crenate; stipules filiform, 5-10 mm long; petiole 5-35 cm long. Flowers axillary, solitary; pedicel 0.5-1.5 cm long, in fruit up to 5 cm. Epicalyx segments 7-12, 5-25 mm long, 1-2.5 mm broad, linear to lanceolate, caducous. Calyx 2-3 cm long. Corolla yellow or yellowish white with a purple spot at the base; petals 3-4.5 cm long and broad. Staminal column 2-2.5 cm long. Capsule 7-25 cm long, 1.5-3 cm across, cylindrical, 5-angled, acuminate, simple hairy, hirsute when young, glabrescent. Seeds 5-15 in each cell, 3-6 mm across, reniform or ovoid, dark brown, glabrous.
Type: Herb. Linn. n. 879.31 (LINN!).
Distribution: Cultivated as vegetable in most tropical countries. It is extensively cultivated in Pakistan.
It is Asiatic in origin as the whole genus is mainly of Asiatic distribution. Abelmoschus tuberculatus Pal & Singh (Bot. Gaz.113:458. 1952), a N. Indian species differs mainly from the present species in its strigose hairs on the stem and shorter capsules (5-7.5 cm long) covered by bristly tuberculate hairs, may be one of the ancestors (Borssum Waalkes l.c.). Most probably Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench is of Indian origin.