Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sida rhombifolia

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Sida
Species: S. rhombifolia

Binomial name
Sida rhombifolia L.
Sida rhombifolia (Arrowleaf Sida) is a perennial or sometimes annual plant in the Family Malvaceae, native to the New World tropics and subtropics. Other common names include Paddy�s Lucerne, Jelly leaf, and also somewhat confusingly as Cuban jute, Queensland hemp, and Indian hemp (although S. rhombifolia is not related to either Jute or Hemp). Synonyms include Malva rhombifolia.

The stems are erect to sprawling and branched, growing 50-120 cm in height, with the lower sections being woody. The dark green, diamond-shaped leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, 4-8 cm long, with petioles that are less than a third of the length of the leaves. They are paler below, with short, grayish hairs. The apical half of the leaves have toothed or serrated margins while the remainder of the leaves are entire (untoothed). The petioles have small spines (stipules) at their bases.

The moderately delicate flowers occur singly on flower stalks (peduncles) that arise from the area between the stems and leaf petioles. They consist of five petals that are 4 to 8 mm long, creamy to orange-yellow in color, and may be somewhat reddish in the center. Each of the five overlapping petals are asymmetric, having a long lobe on one side. The stamens unite in a short column. The fruit is a ribbed capsule, which breaks up into 8-10 segments. The plant blooms throughout the year.

Usually confined to waste ground, such as roadsides and rocky areas, stock camps or rabbit warrens, but can be competitive in pasture, due to its unpalatability to livestock.

Tveten, Gloria and Tveten, John. Wildflowers of Houston & Southeast Texas. University of Texas Press, Austin (1993). ISBN 0-292-78151-2
Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

Photo taken by DanielCD in June 2005 near Houston, Texas (USA).

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