Malvaceae Info (Home)
Corchorus is a genus within the family Malvaceae. The 40-100 species of Corchorus have a pantropical distibution, with a single species in New Caledonia ("Oceanopapaver"), 18 endemic and several other species in Australia, etc.
Corchoruses are annual herbs, or subshrubs or shrubs. The flowers are yellow. The fruits are superficially similar to those of some crucifers, being elongated dehiscent capsules.
Although not as commercially important as Gossypium (cotton) species of Corchorus, primarily C. capsularis and C. olitorius, are significant fibre crops, being the source of Jute. The young shoots of C. olitorius are also used as a salad vegetable (mulukhiyah).
[ These pages are currently rather sketchy. A page of notes for Oceanopapaver had been produced before that genus was reduced to synonymy with Corchorus; an outline of The Corchorus Pages has been produced to provide a context for revised "Oceanopapaver" Notes. ]
Corchorus is a genus of the subfamily Grewioideae and tribe Grewieae of the family Malvaceae (previously Tiliaceae). The most closely related genus is probably Pseudocorchorus, which differs in having zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetric) flowers and unilaterally inserted stamens. The six species of Pseudocorchorus, all from Madagascar, may well be nested within Corchorus, and may be reclassified in Corchorus in a subsequent revison of the genus.
Published chromosome counts for Corchorus are 14 (diploid - C. aestuans, C. capsularis, C. olitorius and C. tridens) amd 28 (tetraploid - C. junodi and C. olitorius). Bayer and Kubitzki1 state that there as also hexaploid (42 chromosomes) and aneuploid (26 chromosomes) species.
Photographs of various species of Corchorus can be found on the web. A partial list follows.
If you have found any errors on this page, or have any further information about the genus Corchorus then please contact me at email@example.com.
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© 2003 Stewart Robert Hinsley