Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Corchorus olitorius
L., Malvaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: chang shuo huang ma

English: Jew's mallow, jute, Nalta jute, tossa jute

Fijian: melokhia

French: corète potagère

Japanese: Taiwan tsunaso

Spanish: yute

Habit:  herb

Description: 

Genus: "Herbs or shrubs, often annuals, the stipules lanceolate-filiform; leaves alternate, the blades herbaceous, crenate-serrate; inflorescences axillary or leaf-opposed, cymose or fasciculate, with 1-6 flowers; flowers perfect, 4- or 5-merous; sepals free, oblong-lanceolate, mucronate, subcucullate, essentially glabrous; petals about as long as sepals, spathulate, short-clawed, yellow; stamens (5-) numerous, glabrous, the filaments filiform, the anthers dorsifixed, laterally dehiscent; ovary (2-) 3-6-locular, pilose, the ovules numerous in each locule, the style short, terete, glabrous, the stigma lobed, fimbriate; fruit a loculicidally dehiscent 3-6-valved capsule, erect, linear to subglobose, sometimes with transverse partitions, the seeds numerous, exalate, angular" (Smith, 1981; p. 367).

Species: "A herbaceous annual, glabrous except on petioles; taproot; stems 30 to 100 cm and much-branched when growing as a weed or vegetable culture, when grown for fiber stems straight, slender to 4 m, there are many types; leaves alternate, light green; stipules 2, linear, up to 1 cm long, deciduous, petiole to 2 cm long; lamina lanceolate 5 to 12 by 2 to 5 cm, serrate, 2 lower teeth prolonged into fine, pointed auricles, tips acuminate; flowers solitary or in few flowered cymes, opposite the leaves, sepals usually 5, free, narrow, as long or shorter than petals; petals usually 5, yellow, 4 to 5 mm long, short corona separates petals from insertion of stamens; stamens 10 to many, free, filaments short, anthers small, bilobed, style short, stigma flat, ovary superior, 5-locular with numerous ovules; fruit a long, cylindrical, 10-riged, beaked capsule, glabrous, 5 to 10 cm long, 0.5 to 0.8 cm in diameter, 5 to 6 chambers formed by transverse septa, 25 to 40 seeds per chamber with 140 to 200 in each fruit; seed pyramidal, 1 to 2 mm long, color varying with variety from grayish-blue or green to brownish-black. Wild types have blacks seeds" (Holm et al., 1997; p. 238).

"A subligneous herb 0.3-2 m high; yellow petals 6-8 mm long" (Smith, 1981; p. 367).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "found near sea level as a naturalized weed along roadsides, in waste places, and in cultivated fields" (Smith, 1981; p. 367).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Asia and Africa, now pantropical in cultivation and as a weed (Smith, 1981; p. 367). India and Pakistan, possibly native elsewhere in tropical Asia; widely naturalized in tropics (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 367)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 251, DA 11763, DA 17353, DA 10715
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2013) (p. Voucher specimens)
Vouchers cited: Flynn 1899 (BISH 507822), Home 435 (BISH 571979)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
cultivated
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2013) (p. Voucher specimen)
Voucher cited: Imada 98-31 (BISH 662297)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
cultivated
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2013) (p. Voucher specimens)
Voucher cited: Louis s.n. (BISH 497316)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Bikini (Pikinni) Atoll   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (p. 64)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (pp. 23-24)
In and near settlements, on rice-paddy banks, fallow paddies, etc.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 236)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 236)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 99)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Cultivated, weed of disturbed areas. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Yunnan.
China
China
China (People's Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 236)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 236)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (p. 64)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 242)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 186)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 236)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 242)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (p. 64)


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This page was created on 11 AUG 2002 and was last updated on 16 MAR 2013.