Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 64, Issue 6, pp 1313–1329 | Cite as

Domestication of jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius L.): ethnobotany, production constraints and phenomics of local cultivars in Ghana

  • D. Nyadanu
  • R. Adu Amoah
  • A. O. Kwarteng
  • R. Akromah
  • L. M. Aboagye
  • H. Adu-Dapaah
  • A. Dansi
  • F. Lotsu
  • A. Tsama
Research Article


Jute mallow rich in proteins, vitamins and essential amino acids is an important leafy vegetable in Africa. Ethno-botanical knowledge on the crop in Ghana has been only incompletely documented and little is known about variation and diversity of local accessions. In order to document available ethnobotanical knowledge and investigate diversity of local accessions, 4000 farmers in twenty districts were surveyed using participatory rapid appraisal tools and techniques. 50 accessions of local germplasm were collected from these districts. Using randomized complete block design with three replications, the 50 accessions collected were characterized based on 12 quantitative and 6 qualitative traits. Results of the survey recorded several vernacular names of the crop and their meaning referring to the slimy nature of the leaves. Some local cultivars which were known in the past are no longer cultivated in farmers’ field suggesting genetic erosion of jute mallow in Ghana. Apart from food, respondents use jute mallow to treat fever, waist pain, stomach problems and loss of appetite indicating nutraceutical potential of the crop. Hierarchical cluster analysis grouped the accessions into four distinct clusters and individuals from the same geographical origin were separately classified. Quantitative traits such as leaf length, number of branches per plant, and number of leaves/plant defined the first principal component. Accessions Cagric 26, Cagric 28, Cagric 41, Cagric 08 and Cagric 01 recorded high yields. These accessions could serve as parents for breeding of improved cultivars.


Cluster analysis Conservation Corchorus olitorius Constraints Ethnobotany Ethnonomenclature Multivariate Nutrition Principal components 



We are grateful to Mr Kofi Amponsah of Crop and Soil Sciences Education Department, University of Education, Winneba, Mampong Campus for his technical assistance during the field evaluation. We express our sincere thanks to all the farmers we met or were interviewed during the survey.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This research article is an account of our own research and has not been published elsewhere. Work of other researchers which served as references has been duly acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Nyadanu
    • 1
  • R. Adu Amoah
    • 1
  • A. O. Kwarteng
    • 1
  • R. Akromah
    • 1
  • L. M. Aboagye
    • 3
  • H. Adu-Dapaah
    • 4
  • A. Dansi
    • 5
  • F. Lotsu
    • 2
  • A. Tsama
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  2. 2.Department of Crop and Soil Sciences EducationUniversity of EducationWinnebaGhana
  3. 3.Plant Genetic Resources Research InstituteCSIRBunsoGhana
  4. 4.Crops Research InstituteCSIRKumasiGhana
  5. 5.Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FAST) of DassaPolytechnic University of Abomey (UPA)DassaBenin

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