White Velvet Okra has been an important part of Southern foodways (particularly in Alabama) for over 100 years. Our strain is an original family heirloom of Cheryl and Garey Hughes, collected by Garey’s great-uncle in Warrior, Alabama in the 1930s. Originally White Velvet Okra was grown and harvested in concentrated areas within the South, specifically Birmingham, Alabama; Mobile, Alabama; Warrior, Alabama; Montgomery, Alabama; Valley Park, Mississippi; and Shreveport, Louisiana. In Alabama its popularity was legendary, with many citizens calling for its commercial cultivation.
White Velvet was introduced to the public in 1890 by the Peter Henderson & Company (P.H. & Company) of New York. and was widely popular due to its tender fruit lacking spines, and beautiful contrast to the colors of tomato based soups, or sometimes in fresh salads, pickles, gumbos, or by itself. In the earliest specifications of okra varieties in advertisements and agricultural articles of the early 1800s, okra types were distinguished by color – white, red, purple, and the standard green okra. Breeders began improving these original strains into commercial seed catalogue varieties in the mid-19th century. Throughout the 19th century, the White Velvet variety showed up in various publications accompanied by enthusiastic reviews about its favorable features – long pods, efficient growth, good taste, easy harvesting.
~25-30 minimum per packet.