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Sida tragiifolia

pen&ink © by Michael Plagens

Drawn from a specimen found at Catalina State Park, Sta. Catalina Mts., AZ. 19 Sept. 1994. Enlarged view of a single-seeded dry fruit segment (shizocarp) at lower right.

RANGE: Upland Sonoran Desert in the foothills around Tucson, Arizona ranging hence south and east. Not particularily common.

FRUIT: Breaks apart into separate carpels (shizocarp) each of which has a smooth top and a reticulated base.

PERENNIAL HERB / LOW SHRUB: Slightly woody above crown reaching a meter-and-a-half or so in height. Possesses a long woody taproot.

FLOWERS: smallish, solitary orange-yellow flowers with five petals. Numerous stamens typical of Malvaceae united into a stamen tube.


LEAVES: usu. triangulate with distinctly crenate (rounded) teeth. The resemblance of the leaves to those of noseburn, Tragia, could lead to some interesting speculation about mimicry given that Tragia is a euphorbiaceae with stinging hairs to deter herbivores.

Malvaceae -- Mallow Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009