Sida acuta

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Sida acuta
Sida acut.jpg
Photo by Shirley Denton (Copyrighted, use by photographer’s permission only), Nature Photography by Shirley Denton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Sida
Species: S. acuta
Binomial name
Sida acuta
Burm. f.
Sida acut dist.jpg
Natural range of Sida acuta from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Common wireweed, Broomweed

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Sida carpinifolia Linnaeus f.; S. ulmifolia P. Miller

The specific epithet means sharpened to a point, in reference to the tip of the leaves.[1]


Erect branched suffrutex up to 1 meter tall, rarely taller. Green stems, mostly hairless to stellate-hairy, particularly on younger parts. Leaves more or less narrowly lanceolate, 2-6(10) cm long; apex acute; base obtuse to rounded, hairless to sparsely stellate-hairy; margin regularly serrate; petiole c. 2.5 mm, pubescent. Stipules linear, usually longer than the petiole. Flowers axillary, solitary or 2 together. Calyx 6-8 mm long, somewhat angular, saucer-shaped, hairless, lobed to the middle; petals as long as calyx, yellow. Mericarps 5-6, c. 4 mm long, birostrate, grooved between the awns.[2]


Distributed from South Carolina throughout Florida and west to Mississippi.[1]



Occurs in dry and moist deciduous forests.[1] In Northern Australia, it is classified as an invasive species and dominates improved pastures, disturbed areas and roadsides.[3]


Flowers are borne singly or in small clusters in the leaf forks on short stalks. Flowers have 5 yellow petals and 5 sepals.[4]

Seed dispersal

Seeds have two sharp awns that easily attach to animals and clothing.[5]

Seed bank and germination

Seeds have an innate dormancy period, the embryo requiring a post-ripening period of 1 to 3 months at high temperatures before germinating.[5]


The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Sida acuta at Archbold Biological Station:[6]

Halictidae: Augochlorella gratiosa

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

In Northern Australia, it is considered an invasive species. It dominates improved pastures, disturbed areas, and contaminates agricultural produce.[4]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 [[1]]Eat the Weeds. Accessed: March 14, 2016
  2. [[2]]Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed: March 15, 2016
  3. Flanagan, G. J., L. A. Hills, et al. (2000). "The successful bioloical control of spinyhead Sida, Sida acuta [Malvaceae], by Calligrapha pantherina in Australia's Northern Territory." Proceedings of the X International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
  4. 4.0 4.1 [[3]]Accessed: March 15, 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lonsdale, W. M., G. Farrell, et al. (1995). "Biological Control of a Tropical Weed: A Population Model and Experiment for Sida acuta." Journal of Applied Ecology 32(2): 391-399.
  6. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.