Abelmoschus esculentus (Okra/Ladies’ Fingers) x Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) x Momordica charantia (Bitter Gourd) x Phaseolus vulgaris (French Beans)
Abelmoschus esculentus, common names okra, okro or ladies’ finger, is a flowering plant in the mallow family Malvaceae. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with West Africa, Ethiopia and South Asia as possible origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world and valued for its edible green seed pods. When eaten, Abelmoschus esculentus produces a mucilaginous texture which consists of soluble fibre resulting in a gooey mouthfeel. Unripe fruits are used in many Asian cuisines, cooked, pickled, eaten raw or included in salads. The seeds can be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free coffee substitute. High in unsaturated fats, greenish-yellow edible okra oil is pressed from the seeds and has a pleasant taste and fragrance. A 2009 study found okra oil suitable as a biofuel. Abelmoschus esculentus is a nutritious food rich in magnesium, folate, fibre, antioxidants, and vitamin C, K1, and A. The plant may benefit pregnant women, heart health and blood sugar control. It may even have anticancer properties.
Cucumis sativus, common name cucumber, is a widely-cultivated creeping vine plant in the Cucurbitaceae gourd family. Its fruits are pendulous pepos that are used as vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumbers — slicing, pickling and burpless/seedless. Cucumis sativus is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up, wrapping itself around supporting frames with thin, spiralling tendrils. Cultivated for 3,000 years, it originated from India and was possibly introduced to parts of Europe by the Greeks or Romans — Emperor Tiberius is known to have consumed it daily. The fruit varies in size and colour with a juicy yellowish flesh and flat oval seeds. The fruit is used in salads or pickled, and the young shoots are eaten raw or steamed in Southeast Asia. A 100-gram serving of raw Cucmis sativus is 95% water and contains 16% of the daily value for vitamin K. The seed produces a salad oil not dissimilar to olive oil. Medicinally, it has a number of applications including as a poultice for burns and sores and as a diuretic and emollient.
Momordica charantia, common names for the edible fruit are bitter melon, bitter apple, bitter gourd, bitter squash, balsam pear, is a tropical and sub-tropical herbaceous tendril baring vine of the family Cucurbitaceae. Native to India and introduced into China in the 14th century, it is widely grown in Asia, where it is used in the cuisines of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is also grown in Africa and the Caribbean. It differs substantially in shape and bitterness across varieties of the fruit. The vines grow up to 5 metres in length with simple, alternate leaves. The oblong fruit is a pepo with a warty exterior. The fruit’s crunchy and juicy flesh is often eaten green, and the young shoots and leaves are eaten as a vegetable. The fruit is bitter raw, but salting and soaking in cold water reduces the bitterness. Momordica charantia has long been used in Asia, Africa and in Turkey as a traditional medicine for a variety of ailments, particularly stomach complaints and diabetes. They are rich in vitamins A and C.
Phaseolus vulgaris, known as common bean and French bean, in the family Fabaceae or Leguminosae, is a herbaceous annual plant whose pods can grow to 60 centimetres tall. A bushy, erect plant whose climbing vines can reach up to 5 metres in length, it bears slender long edible pods that can be green red, purple, yellow or black. Domesticated in Mesoamerica first, it travelled south, possibly with squash and maize, the three Mesoamerican crops that constitute the ‘three sisters’ key to native North and Central American agriculture. Phaseolus vulgaris is grown worldwide for its edible dry seeds or unripe fruit, both commonly called beans. A highly variable species, it is frequently found in Asian cuisines, mainly steamed and fried. Medicinally, it is used as a diuretic, emollient and in the treatment of diabetes, diarrhoea and dysentery among other ailments. It is the main grain legume for human consumption, and a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre, especially for the poorer populations of Africa and Latin America.
100% Cotton based, 320g, Acid-free, No optical brighteners.
A3, 297mm x 420mm – Approximately 246mm x 311mm
About the Collection
The Garden of Miss Joaquim Collection: Illustrated Botanical Prints
Agnes Joaquim was a Singapore-born Armenian who created what would become Singapore’s National Flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim (scientific name: Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim), in 1893. The artificial hybrid was recognised by the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, botanist Henry Ridley.
Agnes, the first woman in the world to create a hybrid orchid, was a well-known and successful horticulturist, garnering 70 horticultural awards from 1881 to 1899. The Garden of Miss Joaquim Collection of botanical prints commemorates her horticultural legacy and complements her story told in the book Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid.
In presenting Agnes’s award-winning plants in the illustrated collection, we looked at the newspaper records of the times, but they were of no use because they used common name descriptions of the plants, such as ‘rose’ and ‘durian’. So we turned to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and collaborated with a botanist to identify the likely species. To complete Agnes’s story, the collection includes two additional images: of Vanda Miss Joaquim’s parents, Papilionanthe teres (pod parent) and Papilionanthe hookeriana (pollen parent) — formerly in the genus Vanda — both of which may have been present in her award-winning floral bouquets or cut flowers. Waiwai Hove, a talented and respected botanical illustrator, was chosen to produce the prints.
*Disclaimer: Representative only based on subject. Not species definitive.
About the Illustrator
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Waiwai Hove developed a love for nature from a young age. Growing up surrounded by rich tropical flora and nurtured by her mother, a keen gardener, Waiwai has always held a special place for plants in her childhood memories. She holds a diploma in botanical illustration from the Society of Botanical Artists (UK), graduating in 2013 with a distinction and the highest marks in the history of the course.
She has since worked for the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where highlights include illustrations for ‘30 Heritage Trees’ and more recently ‘15 Gingers’. Four of Waiwai’s ginger paintings were subsequently used for a series of stamps issued by Singapore Post in 2018. Since 2019, Waiwai has begun working on the cover illustrations of 14 volumes of The Flora of Singapore, to be published over the next few years. Her works are in numerous private collections and can also be found in publications by the National Parks Board and in the Shirley Sherwood Collection in Kew Gardens, UK.