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 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.
Photo: Brian Walters