Sida Cordifolia, Bala or Country Mallow seeds
Sida cordifolia, Bala, Country Mallow seeds
Sida Cordifolia commonly referred to as Bala or Country Mallow, is native to India and grows in some parts of Rajasthan. The plant has other common names such as white burr and flannel weed. Country Mallow belongs to the family of Malvaceae. The plant is often noticed to grow on the grassland, slopes, and Waste grounds or subtropical areas, though the plant also grows well in light sandy areas.
Sida Cordifolia grows to a height if 35cm tall and has slender leaves that are very wiry, though turns to be slight woody as they mature. The leaves and stem are densely covered in soft whitish hair that provides them with a fealty texture. The leaves are alternate and grow from the stalk. Leaf blades have a height of 4cm and width of 2cm with a broad heart-shaped outline. The tips of the leaves are often rounded and tooth-shaped in the margin. Leaves have a velvet feel on both sides with small hair on the lower surface. The flowers of the plant are clustered at the tip of the stem. The flowers bloom from peduncles and grow with time as the fruit matures. Each cluster of the flower has five petals that are yellow or sometimes pale orange. The plant blooms from August to December. The fruits are green before ripening and dark brown when they fully ripe.
Sida Cordifolia is hermaphrodite. This means that the plant has both the male and female organs. The plant, therefore, has self-fertilisation through insect pollination or cross-pollination. The flowers produce nectar that invites the insects.
The leaves of Sida Cordifolia are edible by the people of Nigeria as vegetable upon cooking. The foliage is also a good browse to both domestic and wild animals but mostly valued in Nigeria as fattening feed for the horses. Country Mallow seeds also have medicinal uses both traditional and some still applied. The remedy of the plant is said to cure asthma. The paste made with the whole plant mixed with other plants is applied to the body. Complains like swelling wounds, joint pains, eyes inflammation, anxiety and nervous system challenges can be treated using the plant’s remedy. In males, the plant is said to be able to cure infertility and increase the sperm counts. Consumption of the plant also helps individuals to reduce weight and cure weaknesses. The bark of the plant is also taken by women to encourage menstruation.