African Jute
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African Jute
A Native Photo: Sushant More
Common name: African Jute • Hindi: Bankosta, Chunchi, Khetapat, Kost • Kannada: ಚುಂಚಲಿ ಸೊಪ್ಪು Chunchali soppu • Marathi: Hirankuri, Motibahuphali • Sanskrit: Bhirupatrika, Chanchu, Chanchuputra, चंचुरा Chanchura
Botanical name: Corchorus fascicularis    Family: Tiliaceae (Falsa family)
Synonyms: Corchorus brachycarpus

African Jute is an annual herb with prostrate or rising up stems up to about 60 cm long; branches hairless or with a line of scattered setulose hairs on one side only. Leaves narrowly lanceshaped-oblong, up to 6 cm long, basal setae absent, mostly hairless; margin rounded toothed-sawtoothed; leaf-stalk about 7 mm long, velvet-hairy; stipules bristly, about 5 mm long. Inflorescences of 2-5-flowered clusters, opposite or sub-opposite the upper leaf axils; flower-stalks 0-1 mm long, velvet-hairy; bracts bristly, about 5 mm long. Petals are yellow, slightly longer than the sepals. Stamens are 5-10. Capsule is borne on an erect fruiting flower-stalk, more or less cylindric, about 1-1.5 cm long, with a short beak about 1 mm. long, quite densely hairy, many-seeded. African Jute is widespread in tropical Africa, India and Australia.
Medicinal uses: Powder of the entire plant of Corchorus fascicularis is used in treating anaemia. The leaves act as laxative, stimulant, tonic and aphrodisiac. The seeds are used in the treatment of tumours, abdominal pain, gastritis, skin diseases and scabies. It is useful in discharging ulcers.

Identification credit: Sushant More Photographed in Barvi, Badlapur, Maharashtra.

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