Abutilon megapotamicum

7 Aug

Abutilon megapotamicum (28/07/2014, Rue de la Pointe, Brest, France)

Abutilon megapotamicum (28/07/2014, Rue de la Pointe, Brest, France)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 2m

Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Malvaceae

Abutilon megapotamicum is a semi evergreen shrub with an open, bushy habit. Its dark green leaves are tapering ovate with entire margins, up to 12cm long and 5cm broad. Its red and yellow pendulous flowers are bell shaped.

Abutilon megapotamicum Flower (28/07/2014, Rue de la Pointe, Brest, France)

Abutilon megapotamicum Flower (28/07/2014, Rue de la Pointe, Brest, France)

Abutilon megapotamicum, commonly known as Chinese Lanterns, is native to south South America. In its native habitat it grows in dry mountain valleys.

The etymological root of the binomial name Abutilon is derived from the Persian and was given to plants which resembled Mallows by Abū Alī al-usayn ibn Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā (Ibn-Sina) in around 900B.C. Megapotamicum is derived from the Greek megas meaning ‘big’ and potamos meaning ‘river’ and icum being a suffix meaning ‘belonging to’.

The landscape architect may find Abutilon megapotamicum useful as a free flowering semi evergreen shrub suitable for a sheltered position.

Ecologically, Abutilon megapotamicum flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Abutilon megapotamicum their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Abutilon megapotamicum Leaf (28/07/2014, Rue de la Pointe, Brest, France)

Abutilon megapotamicum Leaf (28/07/2014, Rue de la Pointe, Brest, France)

Abutilon megapotamicum  prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid to neutral pH of soil, although it will tolerate most pH. It dislikes wet soils.

Abutilon megapotamicum  requires little maintenance. If necessary pruning should be carried out in mid to late spring.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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