Corchorus aestuans (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Corchorus aestuans L.


Family: Tiliaceae

Synonyms

Corchorus acutangulus Lamk.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: bantji (Javanese), dengdek poik (Sundanese), gandja utan (Moluccas)
  • Malaysia: rumput bayam rusa
  • Philippines: saluyot (Ilokano, Tagalog), salsaluyut (Ilokano), ubat-lagak (Sulu)
  • Thailand: krachao naa (central), khat mon tua phu (northeastern)
  • Vietnam: bố dại, day dại.

Distribution

A pantropical weed, thought by some to originate from the New World tropics in Latin America, by others from the Old World tropics in Africa and South and South-East Asia.

Uses

The bast fibre can be made into thread and string, but the product is coarser and less durable than that made from C. capsularis L. (white jute). The leaves are used as a vegetable, e.g. in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. On cooking the leaves exude a large quantity of mucilage, making them very slimy. The medicinal uses in the Philippines are similar to those of C. capsularis : the leaves serve against headache, and the seeds, in the form of powder or in decoction, as a tonic, carminative and febrifuge.

Observations

A variable, procumbent, ascending or erect, often much-branched herb, up to 1 m tall, sometimes becoming woody at base. Branches terete with sparse to dense indumentum of straight, stiff, ascending hairs and of curly hairs. Leaves ovate to elliptical, 2-9 cm × 1-4 cm, pubescent. Inflorescence a lateral, solitary, 1-3-flowered cyme at nodes; pedicel up to 2 mm long, erect in fruit; sepals 5, linear, 3-3.5 mm long; petals 5, 3-4 mm long, clawed; stamens 9-14; ovary 3-4-celled with 16-22 ovules per cell, style 1 mm long, stigma fimbriate. Fruit a 3-4-angular, cylindrical capsule, 13-30 mm × 3-7 mm, 6-8-winged, 3-4-valvate, at apex with 3-4 bifid horns 4-5 mm long, many-seeded. Seed rhomboid-cylindrical, 1.5 mm long, brown to black. In Java C. aestuans is found on pervious soils, often in sandy or grassy locations, e.g. wide beaches, up to 500 m altitude, in Peninsular Malaysia on open ground and rocks by the sea, and in Thailand in open locations, rice fields or shady limestone hills. In Java C. aestuans flowers year-round, in Thailand it flowers and fruits from September to December.

Selected sources

6, 19, 20, 39, 49, 64, 66, 71, 102, 108, 147, 160, 187.

Authors

M. Brink, P.C.M. Jansen & C.H. Bosch