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Corchorus capsularis L.


Corchorus capsularis L.




Corchorus cordifolius Salisb., Corchorus marua Buch.-Ham.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Jelita, kanching baju, senerong betina.
English White jute, deshi jute.
Indonesia Serani (Aceh), silangkang (Padang Sidempuan), ganja cina (Moluccas).
Philippines Pasau-na-bilog (Tagalog), tagabang (Bisaya).
Cambodia Dok kah pha, krachav.
Thailand Seng, po seng (Northern), pak kom.
Vietnam Day qu[ar] tr[of]n.
French Chanvre de Calcutta.

Geographical Distributions

The centre origin of Corchorus capsularis is the Indo-Burman region, including southern China and Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia cultivation as a fibre plant mainly occurs in Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and Vietnam.


This is an annual erect herbaceous plant 1-2.5 m tall (up to 4 m in cultivation). Base is often becoming woody with smooth branching near the top. The branchlets are cylindrical.

The leaves are with linear-ovate stipules sized 0.5-1 cm long. The leaf stalk is 0.5-3 cm long and covered with soft short hairs at above. The 5-14 cm x 1-6 cm blade is narrowly egg-shaped to elliptical. Its base is round. The margin is with 2 lower teeth prolonged into fine pointed auricles up to 1 cm long. The apex is acuminate, smooth above and minutely papillose below.

The inflorescence is lateral, solitary at nodes, 2-3-flowered. The inflorescence stalk is 1-2 mm long while its pedicel is 0.5-1.5 mm long and erect in fruit. There are 5 sepals that linear-obovate and 3-4 mm x 1-1.5 mm in size, hooded while the apex ends abruptly in a short point. The petals are 5, obovate, 4-4.5 mm x 2.5 mm and the claw is 1 mm long. The stamens are 20-25 while the filaments are 2.5-3 mm long. The ovary is obovoid. It is 10-celled with 10 ovules per cell. The style is 1-1.5 mm long and stigma is 5-toothed.

The fruit is a depressed spherical and it is 1-1.5 cm in diametre, longitudinally grooved, coarsely warty, 10-valvate and with 35-50 seeds. The seed is rhomboid to obovoid, about 2-3 mm long and dark brown.

Ecology / Cultivation

Young Corchorus capsularis seedlings can withstand drought better. C. capsularis, is tolerant of fairly saline soils (maximum 1% salt content). Sandy soils increase the risk of wilting of young crops in the case of late starting monsoon rains. Most C. capsularis is grown on soils of alluvial origin, especially those of riverbanks that are inundated every year and enriched by deposits of silt. In Southeast Asia C. capsularis grows wild in open grassland, waste places, arable land and along watercourses, up to 300 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1) Safety


  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.17: Fibre plants.

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