a new report of jute from North Augusta – from Celeste in SC

Plant is erect, ~12 inches tall, and was found growing in dry, semi-shade beside a paved walkway (the North Augusta Greenway) on 9/1/12. Leaves are alternate with serrated margins, three prominent veins on the underside, and hairs primarily on the veins. The petioles are 1-1.5 cm long and there is another branching set of leaves growing in each axil. (see image #2). Stipules are present. Stems and petioles are covered with curved hairs. Flowers are yellow with 5 petals and 5 sepals. The sepals are longer than the petals, contain hairs on their outer surface, and are tinged with red. The style is tubular and may represent a fusion of several styles. There are >10 stamens and all appear fertile.


Hi Celeste,  your plant is a species of jute, genus Corchorus, in the Tiliaceae.  As far as I know, it has not yet been reported from South Carolina.  I am not very familiar with the species, but I am rather sure it is one of these:  Corchorus aestuans, Corchorus hirtus, or Corchorus siliquosus.  All three have been found in at least one southeastern state over the years.  It is possible this was introduced through a landscape planting with some plant from Florida – because it is more common there.  I hope someone else will have additional information on which species it could be.

Sincerely,    Steve Hill, SCNPS



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