Paddy’s lucerne (Sida rhombifolia)

Latin Name: Sida rhombifolia

Description: A herb or small shrub. It grows 1-1.5 m tall. It is very hairy. It has many branches. The leaf stalk is 3-5 mm long. The leaf blade is sword shaped and 2.2-4.5 cm long by 0.6-2 cm wide. The flowers occur singly in the axils of leaves. They are yellow and about 1 cm across. The fruit is half round and 6-7 mm across.










Notes: This species is usually confined to waste ground, such as roadsides and rocky areas, stock camps or rabbit warrens, but can be competitive in pasture, due to its unpalatability to livestock.

Edibility Rating out of 5: 1

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 3

Sida rhombifolia











Edible Uses: The leaves are used to make a tea drink and eaten as a vegetable. Chemical analysis revealed that the leaves contain respectable amounts of nutrients: 74,000 to 347,000 ppm protein, 94,000 to 475,000 ppm carbohydrates, 33,000 to 167,000 ppm fiber, 14,000 to 71,000 ppm fat, and 16,000 to 81,000 ppm ash. However, it was reported that the root contained 450 ppm alkaloids and the presence of ephedrine and saponin. Another source reports an alkaloid content in the root of 0.1 percent and the presence of choline, pseudoephedrine, beta-phenethylamine, vascin, hipaphorine and related indole alkaloids. Perhaps because of these chemicals, arrowleaf sida is unpalatable to cattle.

Medicinal Information: Arrowleaf sida has significant medicinal applications for which it is cultivated throughout India. The pounded leaves are used to relieve swelling,the fruits are used to relieve headache, the mucilage is used as an emollient, and the root is used to treat rheumatism. Australian Aborigines use the herb to treat diarrhea. Leaves are smoked in Mexico and a tea is prepared in India for the stimulation it provides.













Other Uses: The stems are used as rough cordage, sacking, and for making brooms. The stems have a high quality fiber and were once exported from India and elsewhere as “hemp”.



6 thoughts on “Paddy’s lucerne (Sida rhombifolia)

  1. Peter Lucas

    A related species (?) of this occurs in southern Queensland, at least, known as Sida retusa as far as I know. The stem is very strong and fibrous and has a long tap root making it very hard to pull up especially in dry ground. A really invasive weed on fallow or derelict ground. It would be like eating wet rope, I would think. Could this be the same as your illustration?

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Peter,
      yes it would be a related specie.
      The edible part of the plant are the leaves, and yes it is a very fibrous plant.

  2. Shanti

    In Fiji, we use the stems as toothbrush. Cut 20 cm length stems with the diameter 0.5cm – 1cm. Chew the thinner end until bristly. Add toothpaste and brush as normal. Once finished brushing, wash it and split it by bifurcating the chewed end. Take one split stem and bend to make a tongue scrapper. Use only one and discard/compost.

  3. Pingback: The Magical Many Use Herb – Sida rhombifolia – And one of the most effective antibiotics on the planet – Grows Wild Here 8-19-19 | The Garden Lady of Georgia

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