Sida acuta potted plant, organic
Family: Mallow (Malvaceae)
Hardy to Zones 8 to 11, otherwise grown as a 90 day annual
(Common Wireweed, Mahabal) Perennial taprooted subshrub native to South America and introduced throughout tropical regions. USDA lists this as a native plant in the American South and Hawaii, and the distribution is currently pantropical. The plant grows from 1 to 5 feet in height and flowers yellow. Wherever it grows, the plant is utilized in herbal medicine and considered potent and helpful. The whole plant may be made into a tincture that contains alkaloids and flavonoids. The seeds contain phytoecdysteroids. The whole plant extract is considered emollient, analgesic, antimalarial, antivenin, and perhaps most importantly antibacterial to Staph, E-coli, Pseudomonas and Mycobacterium. The plant is used in treating Lyme disease and Lyme co-infections. The root is antifungal. I have eaten a piece of the plant and find that the reaction is typical for a medicinal mallow–a soothing mucilaginous action followed by a tonifying astringency. The plant accumulates heavy metals and can be used in bioremediation of polluted sites, but for medicinal use the plant should be grown only in clean, organic sites. Space 2 feet apart.
Potted plant, certified organically grown