Corchorus aestuans

Corchorus aestuans L.

Common Names: Jute

Family: Malvaceae

Habit: Corchorus aestuans grows as a small to medium annual herb to subshrub up to 2 m in height (usually shorter) with the stems slightly pubescent. The leaves are arranged alternately, to 7 cm in length and 3 cm in width, ovate to lanceolate with a crenate/serrate leaf margin (lowest 2 teeth extended as setae), and an acute/obtuse leaf apex. Abaxially pubescent along the veins.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in pairs or solitary arising from nodes. The calyx has 5 unfused greenish sepals. The corolla has 5 unfused yellow petals.  There are numerous stamens.  The ovary is superior with 3 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a triangular capsule with a recurved beak.

Habitat: Corchorus aestuans grows in Human Altered environments (yards, abandoned fields, roadsides).

Distribution: Corchorus aestuans occurs on all island groups in the Lucayan Archipelago. It is originally western hemisphere but is now pan-tropical and pan subtropical.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Corchorus aestuans is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

The leaves are edible.