Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Malachra capitata (L.) L., Syst. Nat. ed. 12,2: 458. 1767. Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 329.1874. Sida capitata L., Sp. PI . 685 . 1753.

Annual or perennial, erect herbs or undershrubs, up to 1.5 m high; stems, petioles and floral axes minutely stellate-hairy, intermixed with simple and long prickly stellate hairs. Leaves 3 - 14 x 4 - 20 cm, orbicular to suborbicular or ovate, angular or lobed, cordate at base, obtuse or rounded at apex, crenate to serrate, 5-nerved at base, velutinous with minute stellate hairs on both surfaces, ultimately glabrescent; petioles 2 - 8 cm long; stipules 1 - 2 cm long, filiform, hispid. Heads 3 - 7 per axil with 2 - 5 flowers in each head, main axis 5 - 15 mm long; bracts 3 - 4 per head, 0.5 - 2 cm across, broadly ovate to orbicular, cordate to rounded at base, acute at apex with slightly·recurved tip, entire or crenate-serrate, folded along midrib, stellate- pubescent and also with stiff bristles along margins and on the nerves beneath, usually with white patches on the interveinium accompanied by filiform stipule-like structures. Calyx cupular, lobes ca 6 x 1.5 mm, oblong to deltoid, acuminate, 3-nerved, glabrous except for a few stiff, simple hairs at apex. Corolla bright yellow, ca 1.5 - 2.5 cm across; petals 1 - 1.5 cm obovate, densely stellate-hairy outside, glabrous inside, ciliate at base. Staminal column ca 1 mm long, antheflferous throughout with both stellate and simple hairs intermixed with a few gland-tipped hairs. Schizocarps 5 - 6 mm across, obpyriform; mericarps 5, whitish, glabrous, ca 3 x 2 mm, obovoid, trigonous, acute at base, rounded at apex, reticulated with brownish veins. Seeds ca 2.5 mm long, trigonous, minutely stellate-hairy, brownish- black.

Fl. & Fr. April- Dec.

Distrib. India: Common on roadsides, waste places. Throughout.

Introduced in the Old World, native of tropical America.


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