Okra is said to have originated in Africa and followed the slave trade establishing itself in the Caribbean Islands, Brazil and the Southern United States.
This variety is a Texas heirloom and was given the name "Hill Country Red" . The okra is red in color and "The Texas Hill Country" refers to the limestone hills surrounding Austin/San Antonio Area.
However, it is unlikely it was first established there, as this area was largely settled by Germans who opposed slavery, but who were quick to adopt new vegetables through trade.
It is more likely it originally came into Brazoria County, Texas in the South where there was an active slave trade and many plantations that quickly adopted any new food source.
It is believed slaves themselves were sometimes able to smuggle a few precious seeds with them on their terrible journey.
Many times they were grown in substance gardens that some slaves were allowed to grow for themselves.
It is not uncommon for people to bring their food source from a foreign land with them.
It is however, amazing that any incarcerated person was able to do so. This is what makes heirloom seeds so special.
This okra grows 4-6' tall.
Has 3" bronze red fruit that are full of true heirloom okra flavor.
Did you know the leaves of okra can be eaten like beet greens either fresh or cooked? Okra seeds were also roasted during the civil war as a coffee substitute when Northern forces disrupted trade routes in the South.
Plants are about 2 -3ft tall but no pods yet the plants are healthy, some are blooming but I have been gathering my other okra for two wks. (Cow Horn). When I get some okra I will update.
This one was slow to germinate in 2020, so I composted a tray that hadn't germinated as quickly as some of the other varieties I started indoors. To my surprise I had a very fine crop of HCR, and the okra was the best tasting and most tender . Very pretty, and not as mucilaginous as many other varieties. Fat, tender, stubby okra was good cooked, and made excellent fresh eating in a vinaigrette. Showed a little more cold and wind tolerance also than some other heirloom okras. Made up for slow germination with earlier okra production.
Best producing and tasting Okra, in my opinion. I highly recommend its purchase and use.
Doesn’t get tough as quick as other varietys