Up: transcriber's preface
Petala 5, obovata vel spathulata, calyci æqualia seu breviora, æstivatione convoluta. Stamina indefinita, rariusve petalis numera dupla, discreta. Ovarium 25-loculare; loculis biseriatim pluriovulatis. Capsula sæpius elongato-siliquæformis, loculicide 25-valvis, polysperma Herbæ vel suffructices, pedunculis brevissimis oppositifoliis unipaucifloris.
CORCHORUS, Tourn. Inst. t. 135. Linn. Gen. 675. Lam. Ill. t. 478. Gærtn. Fr. 1. t. 64, & 2. t. 179. DC. Prodr. 1. p. 504. St. Hil. Fl. Bras. 1 . p. 279. t. 55. Endl. Gen. 5371.
CALYX of five lanceolate SEPALS, valvate in æstivation, deciduous. PETALS 5, alternate with the sepals, hypogynous, oblong-obovate or spatulate, shorter than the sepals or of about the same length, convolute in æstivation, deciduous. STAMENS indefinite, or sometimes definite, rarely only twice as many as the petals, deciduous: FILAMENTS filiform, distinct, equally inserted around the edge of an urceolate hypogynous torus: ANTHERS introrse, two-celled; the cells parallel and apposite, oblong, opening longitudinally. OVARY twofive-celled (at first sometimes imperfectly so): STYLE subulate or filiform: STIGMA terminal, infundibular-dilated, the edge crenulate. OVULES numerous in two series, covering the internal angle of each cell, collateral, (their raphes side by side,) anatropous, pendulous.
CAPSULE commonly siliquæform and elongated, twofive-celled, sometimes extended at the apex into as many short horns, loculicidally twofive valved; the dissepiments adhering to the middle of the valves, leaving no central axis. SEEDS numerous in two series in each cell, angled, often quadrangular, pendulous; the testa crustaceous. EMBRYO large, in the axis of dense fleshy albumen, variously folded together: COTYLEDONS foliaceous, entire: RADICLE superior.
HERBS, or sometimes shrubby plants; with alternate and serrate petioled leaves, usually deciduous stipules, and very short onefew flowerd peduncles opposite the leaves. Flowers small, yellow.
ETYMOLOGY. Κορχοροσ or Κορκοροσ, is a ancient name of the Wild Asparagus, or some other wild herb, of unexplained meaning.
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. Natives of the tropics, both of the Old and of the New World, one or two species extending into the southern border of the northern temperate zone. Thus C. siliquosus is found in Louisiana and Alabama
PROPERTIES. Corchorus olitorius is used in the East as a pot herb. The bark of several species yields a useful fibre; that of C. capsularis, as remarked under the order, furnishes the material of gunny-bags, and the jute fibre of India.
NOTE: The common Corchorus Japonicus of the gardens should not be confounded with this genus, as it belongs even to an entirely different family. As originally brought to Europe and this country, it was known only in the double-flowered state, and was doubtfully referred to Corchorus on account of some general resemblance in foliage. But long before specimens with perfect flowers were known in Europe, it was show to belong to the Rosaceæ by De Candolle, who gave it the name of Kerria japonica.
Up: transcriber's preface
HTML © 2003 Stewart R. Hinsley