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PlantFiles: Musk Mallow, Musk Okra, Ornamental Okra, Ambrette, Annual Hibiscus
Abelmoschus moschatus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Abelmoschus (a-bel-MOS-kus) (Info)
Species: moschatus (MOSS-kuh-tus) (Info)

Synonym:Hibiscus abelmoschus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

25 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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8 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Byrdie On Aug 17, 2014, Byrdie from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

I have grown this plant for years in Baton Rouge, LA and am very fond of it. I find it looks best when there are several planted in a group and mixed in with other flowering plants. It will freeze down in winter but a mature plant often comes back and there are always seedlings.

Positive vossner On Jun 7, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Got one cutting from a friend and it quickly took root. That has been some years and now I see volunteers here and there. Don't mind it at all, especially since this is such an undemanding, colorful plant.

Positive jerry31557 On Sep 18, 2009, jerry31557 from Patterson, GA wrote:

Beautiful blooms that draws butterfly's and hummers. Only grows to 28-36 inches with heavy feeding and not the 5-6 feet like listed above. Reseeds heavily and is edible. Would recommend this plat to anyone for it blooms. The foliage is simple but the blooms make up for it and blooms very heavily from spring through fall.

Neutral htop On Jan 16, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Abelmoschus moschatus is a naturalized (intorduced) native plant in Puerto Rico and the Hawaiian Islands.

Positive GardeniaBlossom On Oct 24, 2004, GardeniaBlossom from Gainesville, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I found this plant growing in my garden a few years ago. I have no idea how it got there but I love it. I agree that the plants are a little gangly but the flowers are gorgeous and there are dozens of them on every plant. It dies every winter but most of the time it reseeds itself. I save seeds every fall just to make sure I don't lose it!

Positive southernbelle40 On Sep 5, 2004, southernbelle40 from Port Richey, FL wrote:

I have grown this plant for years and years. I love the is so vibrant and showy. I grow them in the garden bed and also in pots. They come back every year and when they are blooming they really show off and put on a show.
Just about every flower that blooms makes a seed pod. I collect everyone and just keep putting the seeds down and letting them go wild. It is a sight to see.

Positive elbeegee On Jun 24, 2004, elbeegee from Flower Mound, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

From ten-year-old seed, soaked overnight, one plant came through. In the Dallas area, it is planted in full sun, blooming regularly and adding interest to my flower bed. The seeds are some I found when I moved things from my godmother's house a few years ago. Don't know why I kept them except she loved the plants and kept seed from year to year. When she got the original plant from a nursery it was labeled "Silk Flower" and that's what I thought its name was until I saw this post! I will definitely save seed and have more next year interspersed throughout my beds!

Positive chrislyn On Oct 20, 2003, chrislyn from La Porte, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have one of these that re-seeds vigorously. Easy to grow - the leaves are weed-like and the blooms are rather small, but still a nice plant.

Positive Camille On Nov 3, 2002, Camille wrote:

The musk mallow appears to grow beautifully on the West Coast. Its pink-purple cups are delicate, and although some find its lobed leaves "weedy", I see the green heart/kidney shape of the leaves as interestingly echoing the shape of the flowers. This year, my first growing the musk mallow, flowers began to bloom in July and are, incredibly, still blooming (early November). I found that the seeds germinated very slowly (from 2 to 6 weeks, beginning in May outdoors), but once established the plants flourished with minimum care.

Neutral georgemelloy On Jul 25, 2002, georgemelloy wrote:

Not pretty foliage while plant is growing... kind of gangly and weed-like. The blooms are its redeeming quality. Lots and lots of them and the blooming period is quite long (4 or more weeks).

Neutral HibLady On Mar 23, 2002, HibLady wrote:

Abelmoschus moschatus is a fairly long-lived perennial, often grown as an annual in colder regions. It's known as the "musk mallow" for it's scented seeds/seedoils. Abelmoschus manihot (very similar to okra, but with a VERY hairy, prickly pod) is possibly edible when young and green, but I wouldn't recommend eating it whole like okra - stripping out the green seed, however may be OK.

Neutral dave On Mar 16, 2001, dave wrote:

Not a hardy shrub, can only grow be grown outdoors in frost-free climates. You may have success by cutting the plant back in the fall and covering with a generous application of mulch.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Lanett, Alabama
Alachua, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Land O' Lakes, Florida
Port Richey, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Blackshear, Georgia
Gainesville, Georgia
Patterson, Georgia
Barbourville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Slidell, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Belmont, North Carolina
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Alvin, Texas
Austin, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
Flower Mound, Texas
Nolanville, Texas
Pearland, Texas
Plano, Texas
Richmond, Texas

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