Sida schimperiana (?)
This trampled down shrub resists grazing in a pasture area near Eldoret, Kenya,
Africa. January 2012.
SHRUB: Very tough woody stems resist trampling by grazing animals. Stems
can also grow a meter or more tall if left ungrazed. The tough and fibrous
stems have been used for cleaning the teeth.
FLOWERS: Yellow. Mallow flowers are easy to recognize. There are five
distinct petals and five sepals. Numerous stamens arise from a fleshy column
derived from the fused filaments.
LEAVES: Elliptic leaves are notched or toothed at the apex; there can be small teeth
also in some populations, but this specimen has smooth margins.
RANGE: One or more species of Sida are likely to be found in
most areas of Kenya except for very dry deserts. The Sida cuneifolia complex
of species was studied by Vollesen (1986) and divided into several similar
species. The name Sida schimperiana in Agnew (2013) seems consistent with
this example. Clearly, the field
naturalist will not have much luck resolving species.
FRUIT: The dryish capsule breaks smoothly into five or so segments.
UNARMED. Without spines but the hairs on leaves and stems are course
and unpleasant to the touch.
Malvaceae -- Mallow Family
Michael J. Plagens, Created on 16 Oct. 2012