For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Country Mallow (Sida cordifolia)

Family Malvaceae
The leaves of this plant come in a variety of colours.
Sida cordifolia (bala, country mallow, heart-leaf sida or flannel weed) is a perennial subshrub of the mallow family Malvaceae native to India. It has naturalized throughout the world, and is considered an invasive weed by invasive groups in Africa, Australia, the southern United States, Hawaiian Islands, New Guinea, and French Polynesia. The specific name, cordifolia, refers to the heart-shaped leaf.
S. cordifolia is an erect perennial that reaches 50 to 200 cm (20 to 79 in) tall, with the entire plant covered with soft white felt-like hair that is responsible for one of its common names, "flannel weed". The stems are yellow-green, hairy, long, and slender. The yellow-green leaves are oblong-ovate, covered with hairs, and 3.5 to 7.5 cm (1.4 to 3.0 in) long by 2.5 to 6 cm (0.98 to 2.4 in) wide. The flowers are dark yellow, sometimes with a darker orange center, with a hairy 5-lobed calyx and 5-lobed corolla.
As a weed, it invades cultivated and overgrazed fields, competing with more desired species and contaminating hay.
S. cordifolia is used in Ayurvedic medicine. Known as "malva branca", it is a plant used in Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of inflammation of the oral mucosa, blenorrhea, asthmatic bronchitis and nasal congestion, stomatitis, of asthma and nasal congestion and in many parts of Africa for various ailments, particularly for respiratory problems. It has been investigated as an anti-inflammatory for preventing cell proliferation, and for encouraging liver re-growth. Due to its ephedrine content, it possesses psychostimulant properties, affecting the central nervous system and also the heart.
 A 50% ethanolic extract of Sida cordifolia tested on rats showed potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity comparable with the standard drug deprenyl.

The plant has demonstrated anti-pyretic and anti-ulcerogenic properties.

The aqueous extract of Sida cordifolia stimulates liver regeneration in rats.

Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sida_cordifolia