This lovely Indian native is covered with soft white felt-like hair, the stems being yellow-green, hairy, long, and slender with heart-shaped leaves and flowers which are dark yellow, sometimes with a darker orange centre. It has been used as a medicinal plant since prehistoric times due to its high ephedrine content in the seeds, and it also possesses psychostimulant properties, affecting the central nervous system and also the heart. Additionally it has been used as a stimulant, an appetite suppressant and a decongestant, and in traditional ceremonies is regularly used as an ingredient in legal highs designed to mimic the effects of ecstasy. Please note, we do not recommend any of the above.
For best results, seeds are best sown directly into the ground where required in the spring. Alternatively, sow in late winter/early spring in heat of20-25 degrees C. Prick out into small 3" pots and plant in final position when the plants are established. It can help to scarify the seeds by removing the covering structures and chipping the seed coat with a scalpel. Some people have successfully germinated these using agar, germination paper or sand, at temperatures between 20 and 30°C.
Common name:Bala, Country mallow, Heart-leaf sida, Flannel weed
Classification:Half hardy annual
Packet Content:20+ (Approx)