Sida petrophila

Distribution Map
Family: Malvaceae
Distribution: Widespread in dry, rocky areas of New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Common Name: Rock sida
Derivation of
Sida...from Greek for "pomegranate or water lily"
petrophila... from Greek, petra, a rock and philos, loving, referring to the habitat of the plant in some environments.
Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Sida is a genus of about 200 species which is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. About 40 species are recognised for Australia but the actual number of Australian species is uncertain due to numerous undescribed species. The genus is closely related to the widely cultivated Hibiscus.

Sida petrophila
Sida petrophila
Photo: Brian Walters

Sida petrophila is a small to medium shrub of open habit reaching from 1 to 2 metres in height. The leaves are oblong in shape to about 50 mm long, hairy and greyish in colour. The 5-petalled flowers are bright yellow and about 20 mm in diameter occurring singly or in clusters on short stalks. The flowers are followed by small fruits about 7 mm in diameter.

S.petrophila is rarely seen in cultivation but should be a useful landscaping plant for drier climates. Ideally, it should be grown in a sunny, well-drained position.

Propagation from seed is relatively easy and no special pretreatment is needed. Cuttings should strike readily.

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