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Numerical Taxonomy and Morphological Variation of Cultivated Okra Species (Abelmoschus Esculentus and A. Caillei) in Ghana
A numerical taxonomic study was conducted to investigate the patterns of morphological and phenological variations in 45 okra accessions from different agroecological zones of Ghana dur-ing the rainy season of 2005. The results of the study showed that there were two main phenetic groupings of okra accessions in Ghana based on both 14 quantitative and 17 qualitative mor-phological and phenological characteristics. These two phenetic groupings could be tentatively linked to the taxonomic descriptions of A. esculentus and A. caillei accessions. Morphological and phenological characters like stem diameter, leaf length, petiole length, fruit positions and days to flower opening were identified as diagnostic characters that could be used to separate okra accessions in Ghana into A. esculentus and A. caillei. The study also indicated that there was a weak agroecological adaptation among the 45 okra accessions and therefore agroecologi-cal origins of the various accessions could not be used as one of the criteria in the development okra core collection in Ghana.