Native to Latin America, and introduced to the southern United States and Hawaii. In the U.S mainland it occurs from Texas east to Florida, and sporadically north to Pennsylvania.
Either an annual or a perennial plant, depending on the climate in which it occurs. Reproduction is from seeds. This is a small shrubby plant with touch to woody stems, growing in dense patches along roadsides, in waste areas, and in fields and pastures.
Mature plants grow as tall as 3 feet, with many branches off the main stems. The stems are reddish and are sparsely covered with long, thin, white hairs that are pressed flat against the stem. The leaves generally are ovate with pointed tips, and with deeply toothed margins and deep veins. The leaves are hairy on both surfaces. The Flowers are light yellowish to orange, appearing a few at a time along the growing stems. The seed pod that develops is the typical wheel-like shape of mallows, with 8 to 12, spike-like seeds within it.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Physical removal would be difficult due to the dense thickets these plants form, along with the tough, fibrous root system. Control is effective using a systemic, non-selective herbicide, and prevention may be possible with a non-selective pre-emergent.