Sida fallax
Common Name: ilima 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Malvaceae
Native Range: Pacific Islands
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where it is grown in gritty, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Avoid heavy clay soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sida fallax, commonly called 'ilima, is the official flower for the Island of Oahu. Its yellow flowers are often used in making leis. It is native to Hawaii plus several additional Pacific Islands from Hawaii to China. In Hawaii, it grows in a number of different locations (rocky/sandy coasts, limestone reefs, lava fields, pastures, scrubland and forested areas), in a number of different shapes (prostrate groundcover to dwarf shrub to tall shrub) with a number of different flower colors (usually yellow - sometimes with maroon centers - but also including several shades of orange, dull red and rarely green). Prostrate plants (6-12" tall) typically grow in dry coastal areas. Small shrubs (to 5' ) grow inland. Larger, more erect shrubs (to 10' tall) grow in woodland areas. Flowers (to 1" diameter) bloom year round. Flowers are typically yellow, but can be various shades of orange, dull red or infrequently green. Some flowers have maroon centers. Light to medium green leaves (from 1/2" to 3" long).

Genus name comes from the Greek name for a water plant, transferred to this genus.

Specific epithet means false or deceptive.


No serious insect of disease problems. Ants, aphids, mealy bugs, scale and slugs may appear. Watch for red spider mites. In the presence of excess shade or soil moisture, shrubs are vulnerable to rust or black sooty mold.


Accent. Hedge. Screen. Sprawling ground cover. Containers.