Prickly Fan-Petals   
Foto info
Prickly Fan-Petals
aturalized Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Prickly Fan-Petals, Prickly Sida
Botanical name: Sida spinosa    Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)

Prickly Fan-Petals is an annual herb about 1-2 ft tall, branching occasionally. The stems are covered with fine white hairs. Alternately arranged leaves are up to 2 inches long and 1 inch across. They are ovate or ovate-oblong, toothed along the margins. Leaves have long stalks, up to 1" long, and are rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base. At the base of the petiole, there is a pair of linear stipules; some of the lower leaves also have a blunt green spine below the base of their petioles. Flowers are borne singly or a few, in leaf axils, on short stalks up to 1.2 cm long. These stalks are shorter than the leaf stalks, which causes the flowers to appear hidden among the leaves. Each flower is about 1/3" across when fully open. It has 5 spreading light yellow or light orange petals, 5 lance-shaped sepals, and a united column of 5 styles and numerous stamens that becomes spreading at the tip. Each flower is replaced by circular seedpod with 5 brown segments that break apart. This plant spreads by reseeding itself, and occasionally forms colonies. Prickly Fan-Petals is native to the American continents, naturalized in India.

Photographed near Navaje village, Thane, Maharashtra.
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