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Prickly Mallow Sida spinosa

Previously known as:

  • Sida alba
  • Sida alnifolia
  • Sida angustifolia
  • Sida heterocarpa
  • Sida spinosa var. angustifolia
Phonetic Spelling
SEE-duh spy-NO-suh
Description

Prickly Sida is a summer annual weed in the mallow family.  It produces small 1/3" flowers on short stalks.  Due to the stalks' short length, the flowers are typically hidden in the foliage.  The light yellow or light orange petals are floppy, blooming on sunny mornings.

There is a shallow taproot that is divided into secondary roots.  The plants' self-seeding can form colonies.  Deadheading can help prevent self-seeding.  Its seeds which are also spread by animals foraging on the leaves are quick to germinate.

A member of the mallow family, this plants appearance does not resemble other plants in the mallow family.  However, the flowers produce a column of styles and anthers that will connect to the mallow family.  Its blunt green spines below the petioles of the lower leaves are a characteristic that will also help with the plants' identity.

It can be found growing on sites that have been disturbed, such as abandoned open fields, roadsides, pastures, along railway tracks, and waste areas as well as open woodlands and in riparian areas.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Considered a weed of crops, pastures, roadsides and other disturbed areas.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#succulent#weed#weedy#summer annual weed#herbaceous#herbaceous annual#warm season weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#succulent#weed#weedy#summer annual weed#herbaceous#herbaceous annual#warm season weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sida
    Species:
    spinosa
    Family:
    Malvaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Native to North America, Central America, South America
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, AZ, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Attractive to a variety of bees, birds, and butterflies. The leaves are eaten by some mammals.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Spines
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Each flower will be replaced by a reddish-brown circular seedpod that is segmented into 5 parts that will come apart. Each segment contains 1 seed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers form on stalks (1/2"). Small, pedicillate flowers with morphoogy of the Malvaceae, including a column of stamens wrapped around the style.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Some of the lower leaves have a blunt spine below the base of their petioles.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are covered with fine white hairs. Erect stem with alternate leaves and axillary flowers
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Weedy