An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

TUBEROUS SIDA

Illustration

MALLOW FAMILY-Malvaceae

TUBEROUS SIDA-Sida physocalyx Gray

DESCRIPTION-A low perennial which reproduces only by seeds. The branches are nearly erect or spreading at the base and reclining on the ground, 1/2 to 2 or 3 feet long. The tap root is spindleshaped and tuberlike, about 3 or 4 inches long. The alternate leaves are lanceshaped or broadly oblong, deep green and hairy with toothed margins, stalked. The leaves and stems are lightly covered with branched hairs which are typical of the mallow family. The cream yellow flowers arise from the leaf axils. The outer green flower parts or calyx persist, become much enlarged, papery, 5-angled, winglike, and enclose the fruit.

DISTRIBUTION-Tuberous side is a common native plant in rich soil in canyons; frequently a nuisance in yards, flowerbeds, and cultivated fields in southern and central Arizona, from Cochise, Santa Cruz, and Pima counties, also in Yavapai County, to 5,000 feet elevation; flowering March to October.

ALKALI SIDA, alkali mallow, creeping mallow-Sida hederacea (Doug.) Torr.

DESCRIPTION-A restricted noxious weed in Arizona, alkali side is a low whitish or yellowish perennial, densely covered by short yellow, forked hairs, reproducing by seeds, but mostly by long slender woody rhizomes and branched roots. The stems are partially erect to prostrate, 1/2 to l 1/3 feet long. The leaves are kidney-shaped or rounded with toothed margins, 3/4 to 2 inches broad on stalks 1/2 to 1 inch long. The leaves and stems are covered with scalelike and forked hairs.

The flowers are cream colored when fresh, often fading pink. They occur singly in the leaf axils, and are 3/8 to 3/4 inch long. The 6 to 10 dark brown, triangular fruit parts (carpers) are arranged in a disk, each containing a single seed. The seeds are short and kidneyshaped, with one lobe rounded and the other pointed. The seeds seldom mature, because of insect attacks.

DISTRIBUTION-Alkali side is a native plant. It is often troublesome in cultivated lands and dry ditch banks, particularly in heavy alkaline, bottomland soil, but is not limited to that type of soil. It can be a serious pest in grain and cotton fields, and in orchards. Common from Apache to Coconino county and southward to Graham, Pinal, and Yuma counties; 100 to 5,000 feet elevation; flowering April to October or November.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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