Prickly Mallow
(Cuban Jute - Arrowleaf Sida - Ironweed - Jellyleaf)
Sida rhombifolia Linnaeus
Malvaceae (Mallow) Family

Plant is an upright, hairy annual often with spines. Preferred habitat is at roadsides, yards and disturbed areas. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are stalked; oval shaped to lance-like; tapering to the tip with sides less than equal; margins are toothed and leaf base is usually rounded to heart-shape and attached to stem between the lobes.  S. acuta has a wider leaf base that is abruptly tapered.  

R. rhombifolia is the most predominent in this area. Its flowers are solitary on a stem arising from the leaf axil on a stalk that may be several times longer than the adjacent leaf stalk.   The stalk is bent to one side at the apex; yellow to yellow-orange or cream colored. S. sponosa is identified by the presence of hard spines at the base of each flower or seed capsule.  S. acuta has a larger flower that is usually paler in color.  Flowers occur in the spring and summer, occasionally flowering biannually.

Fruit is a capsule.

Because of its exceptionally deep taproot the plant is difficult to extract - thus the additional name, “ironweed.”

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