FOUR AVAILABLE as of Sunday, May 22, 2011 (since the world didn't end!)
This is now one of my very favorite summer veggies as I love the mild tender leaves added to summer salads or used raw on sandwiches, plus used in stir fry and omelets and stews. It is a heat loving annual that LOVES damp rich soil in full sun...if you have a low-lying wet area grow it there. It NEEDS heat and can quickly reach 6-8 feet tall in good conditions and thus can provide hundreds of the nutritious leaves all summer. You can grow it in a 5 gallon capacity pot kept in a tray of water to keep the soil damp if you have no drainage ditch or air conditioner drip areas. It is the most widely eaten leafy veggie in Egypt and is grown in India and Pakistan and other hot humid areas. Its stems are the centuries old source of jute fiber, and the seed pods that form in the fall contain seeds that are an amazing blue-green malachite color! (be sure to save some for the next season). The flowers are small and yellow and inconspicuous, and if you look REAL closely you'll notice the similarity to okra blooms but on a TEENSY scale. (It is distantly related to okra). This year I am trying some traditional Egyptian recipes for molokhiya soups and stews. It is a VERY fast grower as heat and humidity increase.