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false or Indian or prickly mallow, prickly fanpetals, prickly sida

Habit Subshrubs or herbs, annual or perennial, 0.2–1 m, rarely taller.

erect, minutely stellate-hairy, hairs to 0.5 mm.


stipules free from petiole, 1-veined, subulate, 3–6 mm, 1/2 as long as petiole;

petiole 5–15 mm, usually 1/4–1/2 length of blade, sometimes shorter, minutely stellate-hairy, hairs to 0.5 mm, usually with small spinelike tubercle on stem just below its attachment;

blade ovate, lanceolate, or narrowly oblong, 2–6 cm, smaller apically, 2–5 times longer than wide, base subcordate, margins crenate-serrate to base, apex usually acute, surfaces stellate-tomentulose abaxially, glabrate adaxially.


axillary solitary or 2–4 clustered flowers.


0.5–1 cm, subequal to calyx and subtending petiole.


calyx angulate, 5–7 mm, minutely tomentose, lobes triangular;

petals yellow, rarely white, 5 mm;

staminal column glabrous;

style 5-branched.


subconic, 4–5 mm diam., hairy;

mericarps 5, 3–4 mm, somewhat rugose, apex spined, spines 1 mm, antrorsely hairy.


= 14, 28.

Sida spinosa

Phenology Flowering year-round in warmer areas, summer elsewhere.
Habitat Roadsides, pastures, disturbed ground
Elevation 0–1500 m (0–4900 ft)
from FNA
AL; AR; AZ; DC; FL; GA; IA; IL; IN; KS; KY; LA; MA; MD; MI; MO; MS; NC; NE; NJ; OH; OK; PA; SC; TN; TX; VA; WV; ON; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies
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A small spur sometimes is present on the abaxial side of the petiole at the juncture with the stem, to which the specific epithet refers. It is not a spine and occasionally is absent.

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

Source FNA vol. 6, p. 318.
Parent taxa Malvaceae > subfam. Malvoideae > Sida
Sibling taxa
S. abutilifolia, S. antillensis, S. ciliaris, S. cordifolia, S. elliottii, S. glabra, S. hermaphrodita, S. lindheimeri, S. littoralis, S. longipes, S. neomexicana, S. planicaulis, S. rhombifolia, S. rubromarginata, S. santaremensis, S. tragiifolia, S. ulmifolia, S. urens
Synonyms S. alba, S. alnifolia, S. angustifolia, S. heterocarpa
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 2: 683. (1753)
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