Abutilon (Malvaceae)

The name comes from the Arabic abutilun, a species of mallow. Semi-rustic shrubs to be cultivated in greenhouses, in cold-climate countries or, except for the most delicate, outdoors where the climate is mild. The flowering of some species is summer and autumnal, of others it lasts practically all the year. The flowers, variously colored, are mostly pendulous, with 5 petals and a more or less long goblet; the leaves of various shapes, often lobed, in some species are variegated.

A variety of Abutilon with beautiful red bell flowers
A variety of Abutilon with beautiful red bell flowers

Cultivated species: most of the cultivated plants are hybrids, derived mainly from A. darwinii (orange veined red flowers), A. striatum and A. venosum. Remarkable is the thompsonii variety of A. striatum, with orange-salmon flowers and yellow marbled leaves and A. «Savitzii», low and with very variegated white leaves in an irregular way, suitable for growing in pots. A. megapotamicum, which comes from Brazil, is an evergreen that can grow up to 2.50 m in the open ground; from its arched branches hang the flowers from the long red goblet, the yellow petals and the brown anthers; the variegated shape is more delicate and, grown in pot, reaches only 50 cm in height. Abutilon vitifolium has blue flowers, reaches 3-7 m in height and there is a var. album with pure white flowers.

Cultivation Abutilon:

the A. would require a minimum temperature of 7-10 ° C, but if repaired, they can withstand even lower temperatures. The soil must be rich but made well permeable with the addition of sand. For the cultivation of the pot it is advisable to use sandy soil and earth of leaves. They reproduce by seed in spring, or multiply by cuttings; this is advisable when you want to keep a certain variety, and it becomes absolutely necessary when it comes to variegated varieties. The cuttings, taken in first-vera, will easily root in a box with sandy soil, or in a humid environment at a temperature of 18 ° C.