Botanical Name: Sida acuta
Synonyms: Sida carpinifolia L.f., Sida acuta subsp. carpinifolia (L. f.) Borss. Waalk. , Sida acuta var. hispida K. Schum.
Common Name: Broom grass; Broomweeds; cheeseweed; clock plant; common fanpetals; common wireweed; morning mallow; prickly sida
is a small, erect, perennial shrub, branching profusely from the base. It usually ranges from 30-150 cm in height, but grows to 3 m in favourable conditions in northern Australia. The stems are fibrous to almost woody, with a tough stringy bark. There is a deep, tough taproot. The leaves are alternate, lanceolate, acute, tapering towards both ends, and on a short, hairy petiole 3-6 mm long. The leaves have toothed margins, are smooth or have sparse stellate hairs and have prominent veins on the undersurface. The leaves are quite variable in size, from 2-9 cm long and 0.5-4 cm wide. The pair of stipules at the base of each leaf are not equal, with one frequently much narrower than the other. The flowers are yellow, solitary, 1-2 cm in diameter and on a short stalk 0.3-0.8 cm long. There are five petals, joined at the base and with a shallow notch at the apex. The fruit is a hard, brown capsule, 3-5 mm in diameter, breaking into 5-8 triangular segments. Each segment contains one seed and has a pair of sharp awns or 'beaks' 1-1.5 mm long which attach readily to animal fur or clothing. The seeds are small, reddish-brown to black, wedge-shaped, deeply indented on both sides, rounded on the back and about 1.5 mm long.