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Plant Name: Corchorus olitorius L.


Common name

Marathi:                      Chunch/ Motichunch/ Chinchnuk

Hindi:                           Pat-sag, Mithapat             

English:                        Nalta Jute, Jew's Mallow

Jawhar:                        Chunch/ Motichunch/ Chinchnuk


Interesting facts and history

1. Jute is the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton due to its versatility. It is a natural fibre with golden and silky shine and hence called The Golden Fibre. It helps to make best quality industrial yarn, fabric, net, and sacks that has been used in raw materials for packaging, textiles, non-textile, construction, and agricultural sectors.

2. Jute is fully sustainable; it is estimated that there is enough jute to provide everybody in the world with 2 bags per year!


Identification guide


Annual, much-branched herb 90-120 cm tall; stems glabrous.


Leaves 6-10 cm long, 3.5-5 cm broad, elliptic-lanceolate, apically acute or acuminate, glabrous, serrate, the lower serratures on each side prolonged into a filiform appendage over 6 mm long, rounded at the base, 3-5 nerved; petioles 2-2.5 cm long, slightly pubescent, especially towards the apex; atipules subulate, 6-10 mm long.


Flowers pale yellow; bracts lanceolate; peduncle shorter than the petiole; pedicles 1-3, very short. Sepals ca 3 mm long, oblong, apiculate. Petals 5 mm long, oblong spathulate. Style short; stigma microscopically papillose.

Fruit and seeds

Capsules 3-6.5 cm long, linear, cylindric erect, beaked, glabrous, 10-ribbed, 5-valved; valves with transverse partitions between the seeds. Seeds trigonous, black


Habit / Habitat


The habitat range of the Nalta jute is very wide ranging from warm temperate thorn through tropical desert to wet forest life zones. For cultivation purposes it prefers a very fertile soil and a hot humid climate. It is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation between 40 and 429mm, annual average temperature range of 16.8 to 27.5°C and a pH in the range of 4.5 to 8.2 .



1) Availability of the plant species in India: Native to Indian subcontinent

2) Global distribution: It is being cultivated in warm regions such as Egypt, southern United States, West Africa, Sudan, Turkey, Iran, Thailand, Java, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and so on.


Edible parts

World wide use:                                        Leaves, young fruits

Used by tribal community in Jawhar:     Leaves


Method of consumption

Jawhar tribal

Young leaves are boiled and cooked as vegetable.

Other Recipe    

  1. Young leaves are added to salads whilst older leaves are cooked as a pot-herb .
  2. The dried leaves can be used as a thickener in soups or as tea .
  3. The leaves of the Jute plant are widely used in Nigeria to prepare a sticky soup called ewedu together with ingredients such as sweet potato, dried small fish or shrimp. The leaves are rubbed until foamy or sticky before adding to the soup.


Nutritional and medicinal information 

Nutritive Significance:

Nutrition Per 100 g of dried leaves1,

Protein 4.5-5.6 g

Total carbohydrate 7.6-12.4 g

Fiber 1.7-2.0 g

Calcium 266-366 mg

Phosphorous 97-122 mg

Iron 7.2-7.7 mg

Sodium 12 mg

Potassium 444 mg

Thiamine 0.13-0.15 mg

Riboflavin 0.26- 0.53 mg

Ascorbic acid 53-80 mg

Folic acid 800 mcg

Beta-carotene equivalent 6410-7850 µg


Pharmaceutical significance

  1. As per a study, ethanolic extract of C. olitorius have gastroprotective property (i.e. it protects the gastric mucosa of aggressive or irritating agents) against ethanol-induced gastric ulcers in adult Sprague Dawley rats .


  1. Leaves of Corchorus olitorius L. possess six phenolic anti-oxidative compounds. Out of the six, 5-caffeoylquinic acid was a predominant phenolic antioxidant in C. olitorius leaves . Phenolic anti-oxidants have valuable anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory benefits. This property supports its consumption as green tea or soup.



  1. Aqueous extracts of stems and leaves of C. olitorius have some toxic potentialities on the blood chemistry of albino rats.
  2. Seeds have been reported to possess estrogenic activity as well as high content of hydrogen cyanide and several cardiac glycosides.


Harvesting and preserving

Leaves can be directly harvested from wild.

Edible parts: Leaves are dried and stored


Propagation and Storage

Season of collection:

The crop is harvested after monsoons from August to September.

How to grow it?

Seeds are sown from February to June.

Method of storage:

1) Propagules: Seeds


Other uses

It is used for the fibres obtainable from its stem.             



Kingdom:             Plantae

Division:               Sermatophyta

Sub-division:       Angiospermae

Class:                    Dioctyledonae

Sub-Class:           Polypetalae

Series:                  Calyiflorae

Order:                   Malvales

Family  :               Tiliaceae

Genus:                  Corchorus

Species:                 olitorius





2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (

3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00) (



6 Chen, T.S. and Saad, S. 1981. Folic acid in Egyptian vegetables: The effect of drying method as storage on the folacin content of mulukhiyah (Corchorus olitorius). Ecol. of Food & Nut. 10:249-255.






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