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ABUTILON

Image of Abutilon

James H. Schutte

Family

Malvaceae

Botanical Name

ABUTILON

Plant Common Name

Chinese Lantern, Flowering Maple, Parlor Maple

General Description

Abutilon, commonly called flowering maple, embodies approximately 150 species and many more cultivated varieties. These may be annuals, perennials or shrubs and naturally exist in sub-tropical to tropical regions globally. Many perennial species and shrubs are grown as a tender perennial for containers and annual flower beds. Common hybrid forms arise from crosses between the two parent species, Abutilon darwinii and Abutilon pictum.

While growing conditions are favorable abutilons are usually everblooming. In general, they bear profuse small, showy, hibiscus-like flowers in shades of white, red, yellow and orange. These are tend to be pendulous and may attract hummingbirds, bees, birds or bats, depending on the species. Their leaves are commonly maple-like, evergreen to semi-evergreen, lightly fuzzy and green to gray-green in color.

Overall, abutilons grow best in sites with full to partial sun and rich, soil with good drainage and even moisture. Use is dependent on the species, but many cultivated varieties make fine shrubs for mixed borders or tender bedding plants for containers and flower gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    World/Pandemic

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Red, Orange, Pink, Peach, Dark Red, Copper, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes