Abutilon hybrids are tender evergreen shrubs and members of the mallow family, Malvaceae, that also includes hibiscus, cotton, and okra.  They have been popular since the Victorian era when they were used to adorn important rooms of the home as houseplants and although their popularity waned they are now coming back as plants in the gardens and plants in containers. The hybrids usually are 1-4′ tall and have leaves that are unlobed or 3-5 lobed.  The leaf edges are toothed and the surfaces smooth or softly hairy underneath. Some cultivars have handsome variegated foliage. The drooping bell-shaped flowers are up to 3″ wide and produced in the leaf axils over a long bloom period from spring until fall.  They may be yellow, orange, red, rose, pink, or white, often with conspicuous veining.  Plants are best used in containers and can be grown as standards.  The genus name, Abutilon, is the Arabic name for a mallow-like plant.  Hybridum refers to the mixed ancestry of the group.  

Type: Tender evergreen shrub

Outstanding Feature: Flowers, foliage

Form: Vase-shaped

Growth Rate:Rapid

Bloom:Drooping bell-shaped flowers in white, pink, rose, red, orange or yellow

Size: 1-4′ H x 1-4′ W

Light:Full sun to partial shade

Soil:Fertile, medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 9-10

Care:Pinch back to encourage bushiness

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed, stem cuttings

Outstanding Selections:

‘Bartley Schwartz’ (especially good as a standard)

‘Crimsom Belle’ (red flowers)

‘Kentish Belle’ (bright orange flowers)

‘Linda Vista Peach’ (apricot flowers)

‘Mobile Pink’ (very floriferous; soft pink flowers with dark pink venation)

‘Savaitzii’ (grown primarily for creamy marbled foliage; flowers orange)

‘Snow Belle” (white petals with yellow stamens)

‘Yellow Belle’ (bright yellow flowers)































By Karen