Corchorus(redirected from Melokhia)
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Related to Melokhia: Molokhia
a genus of plants of the family Tiliaceae. There are up to 40 species growing in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa, America, and Australia. Two annual species, Desi jute (Corchorus olitorius) and India jute (C. capsularis), are grown for their fibers. The plants are up to 3.5 m tall with erect, branching stems, taproots, and alternate, ovatelanceolate, dentate leaves with appendages. The flowers are small, bisexual, and yellow, occurring singly or two to three in the leaf axils. The fruit is a ribbed pod; in C. olitorius it is in the form of a silique (5-10 cm long); and in C. capsularis it is almost spherical (1-2 cm). The seeds are small, usually brown, gray, or green. The plant thrives in warm, light, and moist conditions.
The fibers of the jute plant are widely used in making packing materials, furniture, and carpets. The dry jute stem is 20-25 percent fiber. In India, its place of origin, the leaves of the jute plant are used as food. The area of the world’s land used for growing jute in 1970 was more than 2.9 million hectares (ha), and the gross yield of fiber was approximately 3.7 million tons. India and Pakistan send the most jute to the world market. In the USSR varieties of Desi jute (Pervenets Uzbekistana and Uzbekskii 53) are grown in small areas in Middle Asia; the average harvest of dry stems is 95-100. centners per ha. The crop is treated with manure (10-15 tons per ha) and mineral fertilizers (in kg/ha): 90-120 N, 90-12. P2O5, and 60-90 K2O. To obtain fiber, jute is harvested when the first pod forms on 50 percent of the plants. The stalks are bound in sheaves, dried, and sent to fiber factories to be processed.
REFERENCESIoffe, R. Ia., and G. A. Pereverzev. “Dzhut.” In the collection Lubianye kul’tury. Edited by S. S. Berlend. Moscow, 1955.
Zhukovskii, P. M. Kul’turnye rasteniia i ikh sorodichi, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1964. Page 459.