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How can I tell an okra flower bud from an okra seed pod? Answered

I want to pick the seed pods while they are small and tender, but it isn't obvious to me which are pods and which are buds.  What distinguishing characteristic should I be looking for?



7 years ago

Thank you Burf and Re-design for the speedy response! Great advice! The buds and pods are close to the same length until the pod gets really long and woody or petals appear. I'll look more closely tomorrow in the garden.


Best Answer 7 years ago

I have grown okra for years as its almost impossible to find in the supermarkets where I live.
Identifying the flower bud from a seed pod is easy once you learn what to look for.
On a flower bud, the sepal (the outer covering of the bud) will look thin and appear to wrap around the inner bud. Cut a bud and a young pod and examine them together and you can easily distinguish the differences. It won't take long before it will become second nature to you.
You can get larger, tender pods by letting them grow until they start to lose the full appearance and just begin to sink a little between the ribs, usually about the length of your index finger. They will still be tender and ribs will not have had time to get woody. I cut fresh okra almost daily during the growing season.
You can freeze okra if you cut it into 1/4 to 1/2 inch long pieces and drop them into a freezer bag.

Check out this picture.

The seed pod has ridges and the flower bud has fingers along the side.

Why are you picking them so early?