Sida tenuicarpa (?)
This example is from an area along Magadi Road, Kiserian, Kenya,
Africa. Dec. 2015.
SHRUB: Very tough woody stems resist trampling by grazing animals. Stems
can grow a meter or more tall if not so heavily grazed. 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 may be notched at the tip; the leaves of this specimen were
brighter green and nearly glabrous (smooth, free of hairs) as compared to the earlier example - follow thumb link at lower left.
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 used was Sida tenuicarpa 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.
Malvaceae -- Mallow Family
Michael J. Plagens, Created on 22 Feb. 2015