Sida cordifolia L. APNI*
Description: Erect, much-branched subshrub to 2 m high. Branches, petiole and pedicel stellate-pubescent mixed with simple, spreading hairs.
Leaves ovate to broad-ovate, 1–4 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, apex acute to rounded, rounded or slightly cordate at base, margins crenate to serrate, surfaces velvety-tomentose also mixed with simple hairs on the veins below; stipules linear, 4–8 mm long.
Flowers in dense terminal or upper axillary clusters, sometimes solitary; pedicels c. 3 mm long in flower, elongating to 2 cm in fruit, densely stellate-pilose and with long hairs, articulate above the middle. Calyx prominently ribbed, densely stellate-tomentose outside, inner surfaces less hairy, 5–7 mm long, lobes triangular or deltoid, acute to acuminate. Petals whitish to yellow or orange, sometimes with a darker reddish base, 8–10 mm long, glabrous except for ciliate margins.
Fruit oblate-conic, 6–8 mm diam., apically minutely stellate-hairy; mericarps 8–14, dorsally slightly grooved, reticulate on lateral wall, apex 2-awned, awn 2.5–3.5 mm long, retrorsely barbed.
Flowering: Flowers year–round.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows on clay soils.
NSW subdivisions: NC
Other Australian states: Qld N.T.
Common in tropical and subtropical countries, and considered an invasive weed in many areas. Sometimes used in herbal medicine. The velvety-tomentose indumentum and retrorsely barbed conspicuous awns can help in identification.
Text by A. S. Mitchell & E. H. Norris
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
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