Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, undershrubs or shrubs, covered with simple and stellate hairs. Leaves alternate, petiolate, serrate; stipules filiform. Inflorescences axillary or leaf-opposed, pedunculate, 1-few-flowered cymes. Flowers small, bracteate, subsessile or shortly pedicellate. Sepals 5 or 4, free, valvate. Petals 5 or 4, free, mostly imbricate, yellow. Stamens 5 - many, or rarely twice as many as sepals, free; anthers dehiscing lengthwise. Carpels 2 - 5, syncarpous; ovary superior, 2 - 5-loculed; ovules many in each locule; style short; stigma simple, undulate or crenate, papillate. Capsules long to short and subglobose, loculicidally 2 - 5-valved, transversely septate between seeds or aseptate. Seeds pendulous or horizontal, endospermous, often with an incurved embryo; cotyledons foliaceous.

Tropics and subtropics of the world, ca 100 species; 8 in India.


1a. Plants prostrate; capsules 4-loculed 3. Corchorus depressus
b. Plants erect or suberect; capsules 3 - 5-Ioculed 2
2a. Capsules globose to subglobose 2. Corchorus capsularis
b. Capsules elongate 3
3a. Capsules terminating into 3, 2-fid, spreading tips 4
b. Capsules not terminating into 3, 2-fid, spreading tips 5
4a. Stamens 12 - 30; capsules 6-angled, 3 angles prominently winged 1. Corchorus aestuans
b. Stamens 10 - 15; capsules cylindric, not winged 6. Corchorus tridens
5a. Capsules subcylindric, 10-ribbed, 5-loculed 5. Corchorus olitorius
b. Capsules 3-angled, 3-loculed 6
6a. Capsules falcate, strigose; seeds wrinkled 8. Corchorus urticifolius
b. Capsules neither falcate nor strigose; seeds not wrinkled 7
7a. Stamens 5 - 10; capsules pubescent; seeds wedge-shaped, truncate at one end and obliquely produced at other 4. Corchorus fascicularis
b. Stamens 15 - 20; capsules scabrous-tuberculate; seeds trigonous, truncate at both ends 7. Corchorus trilocularis

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