Any of several plants of the tropical genus Abelmoschus, especially A. moschatus, with aromatic seeds which yield a musky oil, formerly used medicinally and as a substitute for animal musk, and A. esculentus, the plant okra, cultivated for its edible seed pods; these pods themselves.
The genus Abelmoschus was formerly included in Hibiscus, but is now considered to be separate.
Early 18th century. From post-classical Latin abelmosch from Italian abelmosch (G. PonaMonte Baldo 29) from Arabic abū'l-misk, lit. ‘father (i.e. source) of musk’ from abū, construct state of ab father (cognate with Hebrew 'aḇ) + al the + misk.