There’s always a question when the old post counter clicks up to a “extra special” number. Do you make a big deal about it and post something, well, extra special, or do you treat it as just another day in the blog mines? It’s up to you to decide what path I chose.
We were down in Nashville this weekend, and I saw this really cool weed vine going to seed on a chain link fence. It had pods that had exploded into silky seedheads that looked like milkweed, but the pods were smooth and not shaped like milkweed pods and of course milkweed is not a vine.
Some people we know who live down there told me it was okra, which sort of makes sense. Okra is a common food plant in the southern US and if it has what are clearly flying seeds like this plant, it would spread pretty quickly if someone let their garden go to seed. I never knew okra was a vine, but apparently there are vining varieties out there. (I also thought okra pods were ribbed rather than smooth, but you are supposed to pick them young so maybe they smooth out as they grow larger.)
Nothing I could find in Google images looked quite like this plant. So call it “okra?” and file it under Mystery Plants I Have Never Seen Before But Thought Were Kind of Interesting. Anyone who can confirm that okra actually grows wild as a vine in urban areas in the South is encouraged to share pics and stories.
And yes, there were bugs on it– kind of gross, but interesting to photograph. Note that Google image search did yield a photo of similar beetles infesting garden okra, so this may be further evidence that okra, question mark is really okra, period.