Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik.
Abelmoschus caillei (A.Chev.) Stevels, Abelmoschus platidactylus (Bakh.) Nakai, Abelmoschus pseudomanihot (DC.) Endl., Hibiscus japonicus Miq., Hibiscus manihot L .
|English||Aibika (Pidgin); sunset hibiscus, manioc-hibiscus  |
|Indonesia||Gedi (Minahasa); degi (Ternate) |
|Philippines||Lagikuway (Tagalog); barakue (Batanes); glikway (Subanon) |
|Thailand||Po-fai (Northern) |
|Fiji||Bele, mbele |
|Papua New Guinea||Aibika  |
Abelmoschus manihot is a cultigen with a wide distribution. It grows over a wide range of climates but in the tropics it mainly occurs from the lowlands to 1200 m altitude. However, at high elevations, growth is slower. This plant is a popular traditional vegetable in Melanesia, but has also been introduced into other continents, either as a vegetable or as an ornamental (sunset ‘hibiscus’). In Southeast Asia it is cultivated particularly in the eastern parts of Indonesia and in Papua New Guinea. 
A. manihot is agenus from Malvaceae family. It is a perennial shrub that can grow 1-3(-7) m tall. 
The stem is an erect, woody, branching and hairless or pubescent (without prickly hairs unlike related wild forms). 
The leaves are simple, arranged alternate, extremely variable in shape, size, colour and pigmentation (or marking). The leaf-blade is linear, lance-shaped, cordate or deeply lobed or parted with 3-7 segments and with varied colours from light to dark green through red to purple. Petiole is 3-25 cm long and with slender or lance-shaped stipules. 
The flowers are large, bell-shaped, measure 7-15 cm in diametre, axillary, solitary or in racemes by the reduction or abortion of the upper leaves. The pedicel is 1-5(-7) cm long. The epicalyx segments are 4-6(-8), free, ovate to oblong in shape and with a size measuring 1-3 cm x 0.5-1 cm. The sepal is spathaceous, measuring 2-3 cm long, splits on one side during the expansion of the petal, adnate to and falls with the petal. The corolla consists of 5 large and obovate to orbicular petals. They measure 3-8 cm in diametre, pale yellow with the central spot dark brown or reddish in colour. The ovary is superior and 5-celled. The style is surrounded by the staminal column from which it emerges and divides into 5 lobes where each lobe ends in a flattened, disk-shaped and dark brown stigma. The staminal column measure up to 3 cm long, white, bear numerous filaments and anthers. 
The fruit is an oblong-ovoid capsule, measuring 3.5-6 cm x 2-2.5 cm, hairy, usually 5-angled and splits into 5 segments. 
The seeds are numerous, spherical to kidney-shaped, 2-4 mm in diametre and black in colour. 
The root system is usually adventitious and fairly shallow with most of the roots in the top 30-40 cm of the soil. 
A. manihot requires well-distributed rainfall of at least 1200 mm/year for good production. A. manihot is sensitive to waterlogging and prefers well-drained loams with a pH of 5.5-7, but grows on a wide range of soils. Little is known about the eco-physiology of A. manihot, but there are indications that it behaves as a qualitative short-day plant. In Port Moresby (9°S), A. manihot flowers between July and November. 
Plant Part Used
- The Plant List. Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik. 2013 ver1.1 [updated 2013, cited 2014 July 8] Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2609589
- Siemonsma JS, Piluek K. Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 8: Vegetables. The Netherlands, Pudoc Scientific Publishers; 1993. p. 60–62.
- Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Taxon: Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik. [updated 2014 June 30; cited 2017 July 1]. Available from: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?621