Sida abutilon Linn.
Annual, 1-2 m tall velutinous herb. Leaves with 2-20 cm long petiole; stipules 5-8 mm long, caducous; blade 2-16 cm across, usually orbicular or broadly ovate, long acuminate, deeply cordate at base, minutely crenate-dentate or undulate, with 7-11 prominent nerves, velutinous-stellate hairy on both sides, more velutinous beneath. Flowers axillary, solitary or few flowered terminal raceme; pedicel 1.5-4 cm long, tomentose, articulate near the apex. Calyx c. 1 cm long, fused below the middle; lobes 4-7 mm broad, ovate or lanceolate, acuminate, stellate tomentose without, less so within. Corolla yellow; petals 1.2 cm long and broad, obovate, glabrous. Staminal column 2-4 mm long, glabrous. Ovary globose, c. 3 mm across, villous. Fruit 12-15 mm long (awns excluded), 15-20 mm broad, black.
Lectotype: India, Herb. Cliff. (BM!).
Distribution: Native to India; introduced and fully naturalized in North America; North Asia and Westward to South Europe. It is of rare occurrence in Pakistan.
This is a very important plant for its lustrous, white bast fibres. It is extensively cultivated in China, especially in North China (Hu, l.c.). In America this is preferred over jute and Manila hemp. Aniline dyes make its natural lusture prominent (Dastur 1951). Probably in Pakistan its qualities are not known. It may be grown in northern region of our country.