Plant: Annual herb; Suberect or decumbent, the stems usually hispid Leaves: usually ovate to hastate, dentate to subentire, sparsely pubescent, often with a purple blotch along midvein INFLORESCENCE: solitary in the leaf axils on long pedicels Flowers: calyx 5-10 mm long (12-20 mm in fruit); petals 8-16 mm long, lavender (rarely white); staminal column pubescent, shorter than the petals; styles 10-19 Fruit: FRUITS a disk-shaped schizocarp, 8-11 mm diameter (excluding spines), hispid; mericarps 10-19, with horizontal spines 1.5-4 mm long dorsally; SEEDS 3 mm long, glabrous, the endocarp variably developed or absent Misc: Along streams, in meadows, on roadsides, in fields (sometimes weedy):; 1100-1800 m (3500-5900 ft); flowering throughout the year REFERENCES: Fryxell, Paul A. 1994. Malvaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27(2), 222-236.
Annual herb up to 2 m tall Stem: erect, branched, and very hairy. Leaves: many, alternate, stalked, hairy, coarsely toothed, 5 - 10 cm long, triangular or arrowhead-shaped with angular basal lobes. Flowers: axillary, long-stalked, pale blue, 1 - 2 cm wide, radially symmetric, with flaring sepals and petals, but no bractlets subtending sepals. Sepals: bristly, five, but fused at base, then separating into five narrowly egg-shaped lobes with pointed tips. In fruit, the calyx as a whole becomes flattened or saucer-shaped, and up to 2 cm wide. Petals: five, bluish, 1 - 2 cm long, widest at tips. Stamens: numerous, but filaments fused into an elongate tube with the anthers protruding above the middle. Pistil: enclosed by the stamen tube, with eight to fifteen superior carpels (ovule-bearing structures), styles coming up through center of stamen tube, and ending with exserted, round-tipped stigmas. Fruit: a 2.5 - 3 cm diameter ring of eight to fifteen, one-seeded, hard, oval, beaked segments (mericarps) subtended by the flattened sepals. Each mericarp has two sections, the lower section containing the seed, and the stiff-hairy to spiny upper part with an elongate, pointed beak.
Similar species: Anoda cristata is most similar to species of Sida, but in that genus the flowers are yellow or white. The only species of that genus in our area, S. spinosa, also differs by having very short flower stalks (under 1.5 cm), shorter (2 - 4 cm) and narrower leaves, only five fruit sections per flower (mericarps), two beaks per mericarp, and the persistent sepals enclose the mericarps.
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from South America, known in the Chicago Region only from a collection in a soybean field in Kankakee County, IL.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Notes: This species is native to Mexico and South America.
Author: The Field Museum
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Suberect or decumbent annual herb, stems hispid. Leaves: Usually ovate to hastate, dentate to subentire, sparsely pubescent, often with purple blotch along midvein. Flowers: Solitary in leaf axils on long pedicels, calyx 5-10 mm long (12-20 mm in fruit); petals 8-16 mm long, lavender (rarely white); pubescent staminal column, shorter than petals, styles 10-19. Fruits: Disk-shaped, 8-11 mm diameter (excluding spines), hispid; mericarps 10-19 with horizontal spines 1.5-4 mm long dorsally. Ecology: Found along streams, in meadows, roadsides, fields and gentle slopes or flats; 3,500-6,000 ft (1067-1981 m); flowers throughout the year. Distribution: Most of the southern US, from IA to MA, south to FL, west to CA; south through MEX to C. Amer. and S. Amer.; also in Europe; Africa; Japan and Australia. Notes: Considered a weed by many sources, common throughout the region, noxious in some states, including Colorado. Distinguished by its annual, erect to decumbent habit; elongated triangular leaves, often with a red stripe down the middle; the lavender flowers with petals 8-26 mm long; and the fruits with 10-20 sections (mericarps). Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Anoda comes from Greek, a, without and Latin nodus, joint or node, a nod to the stems lacking nodes, while cristata means comb-like. Synonyms: Anoda acerifolia, Anoda cristata var. brachyantha, Anoda cristata var. digitata, Anoda lavaterioides, Sida cristata Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015