Friday, 9 August 2013

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 42 - ABUTILON

Abutilon is a large genus of approximately 150 species of broadleaf plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus includes annuals, perennials, shrubs, and small trees found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

Common names include Chinese bell flower, Chinese lantern, Indian mallow, and Flowering maple (for the maple-like leaves of some species, although the genus is not related to the true maples). Abutilon species are used as food plants by the larvae of some lepidoptera species including Yellow-banded Skipper (which feeds exclusively on A. avicennae) and Chionodes mariona.

Abutilons are often pubescent, perennial herbs or small shrubs, sometimes small trees. They range in height from approximately 0.5 to 3 metres. The leaves, borne on long, thin stalks, are simple, alternate, palmate, lobed, and many have a shape reminiscent of a maple leaf, hence the common name flowering maple. They are often edged in white or mottled. The five-petaled, pendulous flowers also have long, thin stalks, and are usually bell-shaped, especially when first opening. Their stamens are combined into a tube around the style. The flowers come in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow and white.

Most abutilons are native to the Western Hemisphere, with the majority of species occurring in Brazil and surrounding areas of South America. A few species are native to North America, Central America, and Australia.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



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