Corchorus olitorius L. - TILIACEAE - Dicotyledon

Common name : Wild jute, tossa jute
Common name in Hindi : Jangli jute, banpat, chanal, harawa, koota

Flower - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Fruit - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Petiole and leaf base - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Purple stipule - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Botanical line drawing - © -

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Diagnostic characters Biology Ecology and distribution Nuisance Weed control Botany Uses/Remark References

Diagnostic characters :

C. olitorius is an erected annual plant, being able to reach 1.5 m of height, with simple, alternate leaves, petiolated and stipulated. The limb is toothed and is characterized by first two teeth prolonged by a strand. The flowers are solitary, big, set against leaves, yellow and with numerous stamens. The fruit is a spindle-shaped capsule, opening in 5 valves containing numerous seeds. C. olitorius become importing in world agriculture not only like a weed but also for their stem bast fibers (jute), which rank the second only to cotton as world vegetable fibers. The largest production area of Corchorus jute has always been in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta. Plants and seeds contain physiologically active glycosides that are of interest for treating patients with cronic cardiac insufficiency.

Biology :

C. olitorius is an annual plant; it multiplies only by seeds.

Ecology and distribution :

C. olitorius spread out in all tropical regions. It seems not to has any particular preferences of soils, as long as humidity is sufficient. It develops preferment on well structured soils with good fertility, of which the rates of clay and silt sound important. On the other hand it is rare on degraded soils with a sandy superficial horizon and with weak fertility. This plant may be only 30cm tall, quick maturing, and quite branched. It is frequent in the traditional cultures where cultural activities are realized manually because, being very appreciated for the human supply, it is more or less respected during hoeing and cultivated sometimes around villages.

Nuisance :

In India, it is a weed in upland and transplanted rice, maize, soybeans, sorghum and peanuts. In Bangladesh and India is also present in sugarcane fields.

Weed control :

- Chemical
Post-emergence application of 2_4-D at 500 g/ha.

Botany :

Erected, fairly branched, especially at the base. It measures until 1.50 m tall, when grown for fibres the stem may reach 4 m.
Terete and full, sturdy, hairless, green and often with a faint red-brownish hue; sometimes slightly woody at the base.
Simple, alternate and light green; lamina lanceolate, 6 to 10cm long and 2 to 4cm wide, margins serrate, tip acute or acuminate, base narrowed with two lower teeth prolonged into fine, pointed purple auricles; venation pinnate and 3 basal nerves, including the distinct midnerve, glabrous on both sides. Petioles dorsally villous and light green, often with red-brownish; ventrally glabrous and light green, 20-55mm long. Stipules linear-lanceolate, tip subulate, basifixed, glabrous, dark red, 4 to 7mm persistent.
Solitary or in 2 flowered cymes, opposite the leaf. Les fleurs sont portées par un court pedoncule. Sepales 5 libres, linéaires, as long or shorter then petals. Petals 5, free and yellow. Stamens 10 to many, free, filaments short, anthers small, bilobed. Style short.
Capsule dehiscent, spindle-shaped, pentagonal in transversal section, with 5 valves and 10-ridged. They measure from 2 to 8cm long, to the summit present a long thick beak from 5 to 10mm. Every capsule contains a great number of seeds.
25 to 40 seeds per chamber, 140 to 200 in each fruit, pyramidal, with color varying from greyish-blue or green to brownish-black.
Cotyledons are circular or ovals with a petiole 5mm in long. Lamina 5mm long and 4mm wide, the summit and the base of the limb are rounded off, the limb is marked with three nerves leaving from the base. The first leaves are simple and alternate, petiolated and stipulated. The lamina is elliptic lanceolated, marked with 5 to 7 peers of secondary nerves. Margin is toothed and the first pair of teeth is bent back behind and prolonged by a strand. The stem and leaves are hairless.

Uses/Remark :

References :

- Grard P., Le Bourgeois T., Merlier H. 1996. Adventrop - Doc V.1.1. Les adventices d’Afrique soudano-sahélienne. CD-Rom, Cirad-Ca. Montpellier, France.
- Holm L., Doll J., Holm E., Pancho J., Herberger J. 1997. World weeds. Natural Histories and Distribution. John Wiley & Sons. New York.
- Merlier H., Montégut J. 1982. Adventices Tropicales. Flore aux stades plantule et adulte de 123 espèces africaines ou pantropicales. Orstom, Cirad-Gerdat, Ensh. Montpellier, France.

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