Corchorus quinquelocularis Moench.
An erect, subglabrous, annual or biennial, up to 3 m tall (in cultivation). Stem basally woody, branched. Leaves 3-5-costate, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 2.2-9 cm long, 1.8-4.2 cm broad, glabrous except the scattered hairy veins, serrate, basal serratures prolonged into filiform deflexed appendages, acute or acuminate; petiole 1-3.2 cm long, hairy; stipules subulate, 8-12 mm long. Cyme 1 or 2-flowered, antiphyllous, shortly pedunculate. Flowers yellow, 12-15 mm across; subsessile; bracts subulate, 4-5 mm long. Sepals linear-oblong, 5-7 mm long, 1.5-3 mm broad, keeled, caudate, somewhat bullate outside. Petals oblanceolate, 7-8 mm long, 2.5-4 mm broad, hairy at the base, obtuse. Stamens numerous, somewhat united at the base, filaments 6-7 mm long; anthers subglobose. Carpels 5; ovary cylindric, subsulcate, 5-loculed, thinly hairy; style short, stigma 5-lobed, minutely papillate. Capsules 1 or 2 together, 2-7.2 cm long, with 4-5 mm long, entire beak, c. 4-5 mm across, 10-angled, glabrous, 5-loculed, locules transversely septate. Seeds greenish-black, triangular, ovate, c. 2 mm long.
Type: Described from India, Herb. Linn. 691.5 (LINN).
Distribution: A native of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, now widespread throughout the world in tropical countries and north Australia, either by cultiva¬tion or as escape.
Common in plains and hills up to 1500 m, as a weed on cultivated ground and fallow lands in moist shady place.
This is another species of Corchorus which is extensively cultivated in most tropical countries especially Indian Bengal and Bangla Desh for the commercial jute fibres obtained from the sclerenchymatous lignified secondary phloem elements. The fibre and pith are used for the same purpose as Corchorus capsularis Linn. The plant is used in West Africa and Sudan as a pot herb. The leaves are useful in chronic cystitis, gonorrhoea and dysuria and their infusion is given as tonic and febrifuge. The seeds have purgative properties and the fruit contains ascorbic acid. (Vit. C.).