This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V25", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We were not among those who ridiculed the idea that two distinct genera, like the okra and the cotton would hybridize. Unlikely as we think such a circumstance to occur, we like to hold ourselves open to the chance of finding seeming impossibilities possible. The okra and the cotton are not distantly related, and hence we were quite willing to say to those who professed they had found such a hybrid, "Well, prove your case." The gentleman to whom we wrote for such evidence declined to respond, and we concluded it was a case wherein darkness was preferable to light. This gentleman of course had no right to respond unless he chose; but as he had taken the newspapers into his confidence, it was but natural to expect he would have been glad of the opportunity to tell all he knew.
We do not know now but this Southern hybrid cotton, is really the myth we have hitherto supposed it to be - but happening to take up recently an account of the botanical congress held in Amsterdam, in the spring of 1877, we find a statement by M. Del Chevalerie, Inspector of Agriculture at Cairo, Egypt, that such a cotton had made its appearance among a mass of okra growing at Chibinel-Kom, in Lower Egypt. It has the habit of the okra plant in every respect - making a straight, scarcely branching stalk, from eight to ten feet high, but yielding cotton instead of the usual kind of okra seeds. The plant is said to produce double the amount of cotton to the acre of the ordinary cotton, though not equal in quality. The plants and cotton were exhibited at Amsterdam, and though none of the botanists present seemed to offer any opinion as to whether it was a true hybrid, beyond what the facts of its surroundings when discovered might suggest, there was no difference of opinion as to its being a totally different form of cotton to anything yet known.