Abutilon Mill.

Abutilon is a large genus of ca. 160 species, more or less evenly distributed in the tropics and subtropics of America, Africa, Asia and Australia. One species, Abutilon theophrasti, is doubtfully native in southeastern Europe. Abutilon is an economically fairly important genus: several species are cultivated as ornamentals (Le Huquet l.c. cites nine taxa for Europe); a few are noxious weeds of arable land. Some produce good fibre and are commercially grown.

Abutilon is here treated in a conservative way. Several genera have been segregated from it in the past, incl. Corynabutilon (K. Schum.) Kearney (Kearny 1949), and some of these probably can be accepted. The latter genus comprises a few Chilean species with whitish to purplish petals that are cultivated as ornamentals, incl. C. xsuntense (syn.: Abutilon xsuntense). See also Fryxell (2002).

  • Perennial shrub. Leaves 3-5 lobed. Petals mauve === 1. Abutilon xsuntense
  • Annual herb. Leaves not lobed, heart-shaped to orbicular, acuminate at apex. Petals dark yellow ===2. A. theophrasti


Fryxell P.A. (2002) An Abutilon nomenclator (Malvaceae). Lundellia 5: 79-118. [available online at: http://w3.biosci.utexas.edu/prc/pdfs/Fryxell_Lundellia05.pdf]

Fryxell P.A. & Hill S.R. (2015) Abutilon. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (eds.), Flora of North America North of Mexico, vol. 6. Oxford University Press, New York: 220-227. [available online at: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=100054]

Jäger E.J., Ebel F., Hanelt P. & Müller G. (eds.) (2008) Rothmaler Band 5. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Krautige Zier- und Nutzpflanzen. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Kearney T.H. (1949) Malvaceae: a new subtribe and genus and new combinations. Leaflets of Western Botany 5: 189-191. [available online at: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/12877050#page/243/mode/1up]

Le Huquet J.A. (1997) Abutilon. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 221-222.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith