Corchorus prostratus Royle
A mat-forming, prostrate, much branched woody perennial. Stem diffusely branched from woody rootstock, young branches sparsely hairy, older ones glabrous. Leaves 3-costate, elliptic to broadly elliptic, 4-18 (-20) mm long, 2-9 (-10) mm broad, glabrous except the scattered hairy costae, plicate in bud, crenate-serrate, without basal setose appendages, obtuse; petiole 1.5-2.5 cm long, filiform, minutely hairy; stipules linear-falcate, c. 2 mm long. Cyme mostly 2(-1)-flowered, antiphyllous, peduncle minute. Flowers yellow, 6-8 mm across, pedicel c. 1 mm long; bracts linear-lanceolate, c. 1.5 mm long. Sepals yellowish-green, linear-oblong, 3-4 mm long, spreading, acute. Petals obovate-spathulate, as long as sepals, obtuse. Stamens 8-10, filaments c. 4 mm long, erect. Carpels 4; ovary c. 1 mm long, oblong-cylindric, 4-loculed; style equalling the ovary, stigma 4-lobed. Capsule oblong-cylindric, straight or curved, glabrescent, 7-22 mm long, with c. 1.5-2 mm long beak, 4-loculed, locules transversely septate. Seeds blackish-grey, c. 1.5 mm long, roughly triangular, obliquely truncate.
Fl. Per.: February-November.
Type: Herb. Linn. 487.1 (LINN).
Distribution: Central and North West India and Pakistan to north and tropical Africa and Cape Verde Islands.
Common in sandy clay and saline or gravelly areas from sea level to 1000 m, in arid and semi-arid regions throughout Pakistan.
The growth of leaves and fruits is very much stunted in saline and rocky soils.
The plant is sold by herbalists and Ayurvedic doctors under the name Munderi. The leaves are used as an emollient and cooling agent. Mucilage is used for the treatment of gonorrhoea and applied as a poultice for healing wounds. Decoction of seeds and leaves with milk and sugar is a good tonic.