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Bala

Country Mallow
Latin name: Sida cordifolia Linn. (Malvaceae)
Sanskrit/Indian name: Bala, Vatya, Bariyar, Kharethi

General information:
Sida cordifolia (bala, country mallow, heart-leaf sida or flannel weed) is a perennial subshrub of the mallow family Malvaceae native to India. It has naturalized throughout the world, and is considered an invasive weed in Africa, Australia, the southern United States, Hawaiian Islands, New Guinea, and French Polynesia. The specific name, cordifolia, refers to the heart-shaped leaf.

S. cordifolia is an erect perennial that reaches 50 to 200 cm (20 to 79 in) tall, with the entire plant covered with soft white felt-like hair that is responsible for one of its common names, "flannel weed". The stems are yellow-green, hairy, long, and slender. The yellow-green leaves are oblong-ovate, covered with hairs, and 3.5 to 7.5 cm (1.4 to 3.0 in) long by 2.5 to 6 cm (0.98 to 2.36 in) wide. The flowers are dark yellow, sometimes with a darker orange center, with a hairy 5-lobed calyx and 5-lobed corolla. As a weed, it invades cultivated and overgrazed fields, competing with more desired species and contaminating hay.