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Sida rhombifolia L.
Family Malvaceae
Common name: Paddy's Lucerne

Sida rhombifolia L. APNI*

Synonyms: Sida insularis Hatus. APNI*

Description: Erect subshrub to c. 1.5 m high, stems finely stellate-puberulent, mostly becoming ± glabrous.

Leaves lanceolate or ovate to obovate or rhombic, 1.5–8 cm long, 5–30 mm wide, apex acute to subobtuse, base cuneate or rounded, 3-nerved, margins serrate towards apex, ± /- entire towards base, upper surface green and glabrescent, lower surface paler and stellate-puberulent; stipules subulate, 3–6 mm long.

Flowers solitary, sometimes 3 or 4 at the ends of the branches, on slender pedicels not exceeding leaves, pedicels 10–30 mm long in flower, to 5 cm long in fruit, articulated above middle. Calyx basally 10-ribbed, puberulent, lobes 2–2.5 mm long, triangular, apex acute-acuminate. Petals pale yellow to pale orange or creamy white, 7–9 mm long, spreading, strongly oblique.

Fruit transversely elliptic, 5–6 mm diam., sparsely puberulent, abruptly tapered to a raised central portion; mericarps 9–12, faintly reticulate on lateral wall, splitting widely in 2 at apex, usually (1 or)2-awned, awns to 0.8 mm long.

Photo L. von Richter

Photo L. von Richter

Distribution and occurrence: Native of tropical regions.

Weed in gardens, roadsides and waste places.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, ?CT, *NWS, *CWS, *NWP, *SWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *N.T.
AVH map***

The species has been cultivated for medicinal and cordage use.

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
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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