Prickly Mallow

Sida spinosa

A small, much-branched perennial herb with tiny star-shaped hairs. Flowers in leaf axils of upper stems, about 3/8 inch across, with 5 yellow to orange-yellow petals; the stamens are united around the pistil (a feature of mallows). Blooms June–October. Leaves alternate, on long stems, ovate to oblong with crenate (scalloped) margins. Leaf stems have at their bases a small, spinelike projection, which is quite soft until the plant matures and dries out. Fruit a flattened ring that splits into 5 wedge-shaped sections (mericarps) each with a pair of short beaks toward the tip.

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