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Corchorus olitorius - L.
Common Name Jew's Mallow, Nalta jute
Family Tiliaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Original habitat is obscure.
Range Tropical Asia?
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full sun


Corchorus olitorius Jew

Corchorus olitorius Jew
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Corchorus olitorius is a ANNUAL/PERENNIAL growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.


 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Leaves - raw or cooked[1, 27, 46, 61]. Young leaves are added to salads whilst older leaves are cooked as a pot-herb[2, 183, 269]. High in protein[183]. The dried leaves can be used as a thickener in soups[183]. A tea is made from the dried leaves[183]. Immature fruits are added to salads or used as a potherb[183].
Medicinal Uses

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Demulcent;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Tonic.

The leaves are demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge and tonic[240]. They are used in the treatment of chronic cystitis, gonorrhoea and dysuria[240]. A cold infusion is said to restore the appetite and strength[269]. The seeds are purgative[240]. Injections of olitoriside, an extract from the plant, markedly improve cardiac insufficiencies and have no cumulative attributes; hence, it can serve as a substitute for strophanthin[269].
Other Uses
Fibre;  Wood.

A fibre is obtained from the stems, it is the main source of jute[46, 61, 200] but is considered to be inferior to the fibre obtained from C. capsularis[61]. The fibre is somewhat coarse and is used mainly for sackcloth etc[57]. The stems are harvested when the plant is in flower and are then retted (allowed to begin to rot) so that the fibre can be extracted[171]. This species tends to branch making fibre extraction more difficult[114]. Growing the plants very close together will prevent some of the branching. If used in making paper, the fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then ball milled for 4½ hours. The paper is grey/buff[189]. Fibre yields run ca 800-1600 kg/ha with exceptional cases of 2400 in India, and genetic potential of 4000 kg/ha, the fibre representing ca 6% of the green weight[269]. Intercropped with Vigna, jute has yielded 3270 kg compared to 2290 monocropped[269]. The very light and soft wood is used in making sulphur matches[158].
Cultivation details
Prefers a very fertile soil and a hot humid climate[169]. Tolerates very wet conditions according to one report[57] whilst another says that it does not tolerate waterlogged soils[169]. Jute is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation between 40 and 429m,an annual average temperature range of 16.8 to 27.5°C and a pH in the range of 4.5 to 8.2[269]. Jute is sometimes cultivated for the fibre in its stem and also for its edible leaves[183]. It makes an excellent spinach substitute in areas with hot summers[183]. This species is not hardy in Britain but it can be grown as a half-hardy annual here, though it grows much better in areas that are warmer than typical summers in this country[27]. Some reports say that this plant is an annual whilst one says that it is perennial. Since the plant is not hardy in Britain we can only grow it as an annual. This species is very closely related to C. capsularis
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring, after the last expected frosts[200]. In areas with hot summers it should be possible to sow the seed in situ in mid spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
Elizabeth H.
Asif Anwar Fri Jun 2 2006
As a vegetable, Chorchorus olitorius was eaten by the African & Middle-eastern population from ancient period. They used it in a soup or pot-herb called Molokhiya. The material that they used to make Molokhiya, was called Nalita. Nalita is the powder of the dried Corchorus olitoirus leaf. Therefore, in African & Middle-Eastern region, COrchorus olitorius is also called Nalita or Nalta Jute. Some researches have been done in Bangladesh and India that states that its leaves can work as anti-oxidents and can reduce Arsenic Contamination. The fascinating fact about Jute is that, it is the second vegetable fiber after cotton. As it can not be used in manufacturing clothing items, the fiber is also a cheap fiber. However, its fiber is recently being used as Clothing fiber in China. But, Jute fiber has some properties of wood also, because of large amount of Lignin. Therefore, Jute fiber is the finest raw material for composite industries.

The Golden Fibre Trade Centre Limited (GFTCL), Bangladesh The Leading Exporter of Jute, Kenaf, Roselle Hemp, and Jute Textile Products like: Yarn, Netting, Fabric (Burlap/Hessian), and Feed Sacks from Bangladesh.

Elizabeth H.
Mushtaq Hussain Sun Jun 4 2006
Alternative Names of Chorchorus olitorius in different languages: - English: Red Jute, Tossa Jute, Tussa Jute, Jew's Mallow (Potherb), Bush Okra, West African Sorrel. - Bangla: Tosha Pat, Deshi Pat, Meetha (Sweet) Pat. - Hindi: Janascha Kashto, Singin. - Arabic: Nalta, Nalita, Lif Khaysha. - French: Jute Roax/Rouge, Corete Potager (Potherb), Feuilles Lalo/Lalou (Potherb). - German: Langkapsel-Jute. - Danish: Almindelig Jute. - Russian: Krasnyj Dzhut, Dzut Dlinnoplodnyj. - Estonian: Pikaviljaline Dzuut. - Italian: Juta Rosa, Iuta Rosa, Corcoro Rosa. - Japanese: Taiwan-Tsunaso. - Chinese: Zhong-shuo Huang-ma, Xiao Ma. - Ethiopian: Alsha. - Senegal: Crincrin. - Niger: Lalu, Oyo. - Orient: Meluchia. - Sudan: Nyanypajang.

GFTCL Bangladesh - Exporter of Jute, Kenaf, Roselle Hemp & Jute Textile Products The Golden Fibre Trade Centre Limited (GFTCL) is the leading exporter of Jute, Kenaf, & Roselle Hemp fibers, and Jute Textile Products from Bangladesh.

Elizabeth H.
Sat Jan 19 2008

veggiefrost Molokhia Nutrition Facts

Angela S.
Aug 14 2011 12:00AM
This plant is commonly eaten in Egypt. You can boil the leaves in broth to make a soup, or you can mix the boiled leaves with rice and eat it that way.
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Subject : Corchorus olitorius  

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