For some of us, okra is associated with a slippery, slimy mouthfeel that isn’t all that desirable. For others, who have had it prepared or pickled properly, okra has a taste that reminds of us soulful, Southern cooking. Okra is a beautiful, edible, flowering plant that is part of the mallow family (related to cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus) and originated in Africa. Also known as “lady’s fingers” or “gumbo” in some regions, this extremely drought- and heat-tolerant plant grows well in warm climates and offers consumers a wide variety of nutritional benefits. Okra grows well in Central Texas summers, and can sometimes be the only surviving plant on those over 100F days. Read on for more facts about okra’s slimy nature, why okra is so good for you, and how to plant okra in your garden this summer.