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bala, country mallow, flannel weed, great-leaf sida, heart-leaf sida, ilima

Habit Subshrubs or shrubs, to 1.5 m.

erect, stellate-tomentose.


stipules free from petiole, 1-veined, linear, 5–8 mm, shorter than petiole;

petiole 10–25 mm, to 1/2 length of blade, stellate-tomentose;

blade broadly cordate to ovate-lanceolate, to 6 cm, reduced distally, 1–2 times longer than wide, base cordate, margins dentate to base, apex acute, surfaces softly velvety-tomentose.


axillary, usually subsessile, crowded panicles or corymbs, sometimes solitary flowers.


0.2–0.4 cm, enlarging slightly in fruit, shorter than calyx.


calyx prominently ribbed, 6–7 mm, densely stellate-tomentose, lobes ovate;

petals yellow-orange, often with darker reddish base, 8–11 mm;

staminal column hairy;

style 8–14-branched.


oblate-conic, 6–7 mm diam., apically hairy;

mericarps 8–14, 4–5 mm, dorsally smooth, apex spined, spines to 2 mm, retrorsely barbed (variably developed, rarely suppressed).


= 28.

Sida cordifolia

Phenology Flowering year-round.
Habitat Disturbed sites, savannas, open shrublands, pinelands
Elevation 0–300 m (0–1000 ft)
from FNA
AL; FL; TX; Asia [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Africa, Australia]
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[BONAP county map]

A velvety-tomentose herb sometimes used in herbal medicines, Sida cordifolia is believed to have originated in India, but has been widely spread in warmer regions globally. In many areas it is considered to be an invasive weed. There is considerable variation in the flower color patterns; the velvety-tomentose indument and retrorsely barbed, relatively large or conspicuous spines can help in identification.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 6, p. 313.
Parent taxa Malvaceae > subfam. Malvoideae > Sida
Sibling taxa
S. abutilifolia, S. antillensis, S. ciliaris, S. elliottii, S. glabra, S. hermaphrodita, S. lindheimeri, S. littoralis, S. longipes, S. neomexicana, S. planicaulis, S. rhombifolia, S. rubromarginata, S. santaremensis, S. spinosa, S. tragiifolia, S. ulmifolia, S. urens
Synonyms S. althaeifolia, S. pellita
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 2: 684. (1753)
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