This plant is the Hibiscus esculentus of botanists, and one of the natural order Malvaceae, the whole of which are more or less mucilaginous. Okra in particular owes its culinary importance to the abundance of the aforesaid property. It is a valuable emollient and demulcent, is constantly used in the tropics for thickening soup, and is now becoming quite popular in our own country for the same purpose. A bowl of good Okra, Sendee, or Gombo soup (it is known by each of these three names in different countries), is indeed a great luxury, and acts medicinally by allaying irritation of the digestive organs when subject to inflammation. There is little doubt but, during hot weather, when these disorders are so prevalent, that this is one of the most wholesome kinds of food, and we never find any person who does not relish it after having once become acquainted with the article.

Being a native of the West Indies, and constitutionally a tropical plant, the soil is required to be somewhat warmed by the sun's influence before the seeds are sown, or they will rot in the ground. For extreme northern latitudes the latter part of May is soon enough, while in the Middle States it may be two weeks earlier, and proportionately more so farther south. Okra will grow in almost any kind of soil if well drained, but does not succeed upon a wet cold bottom; the best is a fertile sandy, but not over rich loam. Rank or fresh manure causes the plant to grow too luxuriantly, and reduces the comparative yield of pods. In very rich soils the stalks will extend to six feet high with numerous side branches, and will be later in beginning to produce, while in poor ground they will attain to no more than three feet, and commence to flower when only a few inches high. In the former case the rows may be four feet apart, and in the latter, three feet will be amply sufficient. Draw drills one inch deep, sow the seeds three inches distant and, when the young plants have grown three or four inches, thin out to eight or ten inches; at the same time hoe up some soil to the stems, which will encourage the advancing development.

The young seed-pods are the only portions made use of; they are in a fit state for gathering when grown to about half their size, and still brittle. If left on the plant longer they soon become tough and stringy, and are then of no value. As the pods are produced in quick succession throughout the season, and as also, if they be left nngathered, the plants would sooner become exhausted, it is necessary to go over the crop every three days, cut off all that are ready, and what are not wanted for immediate use should be cut transversely into thin slices, and dried for winter use. During the drying process it is requisite to keep them in a situation where the moisture can evaporate freely and soon, and also to be spread out thinly. They may be exposed to the sun during favorable weather in the day time, but taken in at night; or they may be laid near a fire until fit to be packed away; before doing so, however, all the moisture should be dissipated, or they will become mouldy and worthless after a time.