A native plant to Africa, Okra is now found across the sub-continent & is common in India. Okra plants have red stems, grow rapidly & can be harvested annually. They are primarily cultivated for their fruit, which is used extensively in food preparation. They are also used to make antiseptics, have digestive properties and are commonly used in the base of herbal teas. However the stems also contain strong fibrous strands which give the plant its inherent strength and which are ideal for plaiting.