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Santiago de Las Vegas Okra
Santiago de Las Vegas Okra
Santiago de Las Vegas Okra

Santiago de Las Vegas Okra

Regular price $3.50 Sale

Abelmoschus esculentum

Origin: Santiago de Las Vegas, La Habana, Cuba

Improvement Status: Cultivar

Seeds per packet: ~45

Germination tested: Awaiting results

This is a branched, dwarf okra variety collected by USDA plant explorers in 1953 in the city of Santiago de Las Vegas, located about 12 miles south of downtown Havana near the edge of the municipality of Havana in Cuba. The Cuban government still maintains an agricultural experiment station there. It's unknown whether this variety originated in Santiago, or if it was brought there from another part of Cuba. In either case, okra is an African crop (though some believe it has a South Asian origin), so it was likely conveyed to Cuba by enslaved people brought there against their will.

We got our stock seed from the USDA's Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit in Griffin, Georgia, and this year's crop was grown for us by our friend Josh Lard in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Though it has dwarf characteristics, it is still very productive due to its branching nature, and can still reach a height of six feet. One plant will produce loads of branches, and each branch will produce loads of pods. This is not a "spineless" variety, so we recommend wearing gloves for harvest. It is a somwhat late bearer, so we recommend this variety most for more southerly locations, though we have gotten a fair enough crop with it in New Jersey. (For northern locations, we recommend the 'Kandahar Pendi Landrace' from Afghanistan.)

GROWING TIPS: Start in flats protected from cold. Plant out once soil has warmed up, well after all danger of frost has passed. Leave plenty of room for each branching plant. Continually harvest pods to maintain production.