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The edible seed pod of the abelmosk plant was once prized as a source of musk
An abelmosk plant with yellow blossoms; others may have red flowers
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Alternative forms[edit]


From New Latin abelmoschus, from Arabic حَبّ الْمِسْك(ḥabb al-misk, pills of musk).



abelmosk (countable and uncountable, plural abelmosks)

  1. The edible and aromatic seed pods (properly, capsules) of the Abelmoschus moschatus.
    • 1719, translating Joseph Pitton de Tournefort as The Compleat Herbal, Vol. I, p. 70:
      Egyptian Ketmia, with a perfumed or Musk-Seed..., called Abelmosch of Morison.
    • 1892, Carl Deite translating William Theodore Brannt as A Practical Treatise on the Manufacture of Perfumery, p. 230:
      Abelmosk grains are the seeds of a plant... indigenous to Central Africa, Arabia, and India.
  2. The tropical evergreen shrub Abelmoschus moschatus itself.
    • 1846, W. M. Buchanan, A Technological Dictionary, p. 4:
      Abelmosk, Abelmosch, or Abelmusk, the Syrian mallow, or musk okro, a species of hibiscus (H. abelmoschus).
    • 1992, Richard A. Spears in Language & Civilization, Vol. I, p. 43:
      The same description fits abelmosk, the Hibiscus abelmoshus, better known to the world as the East Indian dwarf okra plant.
  3. (uncommon, usually in the plural) Other members of the genus Abelmoschus, such as okra.

Usage notes[edit]

Formerly considered a species of hibiscus, but since distinguished as part of a separate genus.