Abutilon palmeri

Accession Count: 46
Common Name: indian mallow
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Family Name: Malvaceae
Botanical Name: Abutilon palmeri
Sub Species:

Abutilon palmeri is a medium-sized shrub characterized by evergreen, velvety, silver-gray
foliage and poppy-like flowers (1). It has woolly leaves which measure about three inches long, and are grayish-green in color. The leaves of A. palmeri are heart-shaped with toothed margins. Its flowers are yellow-orange with five petals. Its fruit is a rounded capsule that releases small black seeds.

Compound: Abu pal
Geographic Origin: Western Arizona
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin:
Natural History:

A. palmeri is native to the low deserts of western Arizona, eastern California and Baja California (2). It can typically be found on dry, rocky slopes at an elevation of around 1000 to 3000 feet in elevation (2).

Cultivation Notes:

A. palmeri is a good choice for warm climates. It is a fast-growing shrub, tolerant of poor, rocky soil, and high desert heat (3). It is drought tolerant once established, and can survive on rainfall alone, but will grow faster with regular watering. Over-watering, however, will cause it to grow lanky and produce fewer flowers (3). The Indian mallow can be grown as a container plant, and can also be espaliered. Occasional pruning will improve its shape. It is hardy down to 28°F. It reseeds frequently.

Ethnobotany: People use the A. palmeri for landscaping purposes. This species is outstanding by its self, but can also be used as a border in a perennial garden. The Indian mallow is used in the production of Mescal, an alcoholic beverage.  

Height: 6 - 10 feet
Width: 0 - 5 feet
Growth Rate: Fast Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: Spring
Color: Orange
Function: Accent
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Semi-hardy
Water Use: Moderate Water Use

1. Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Accessed November 20, 2016.
2. Southwest Desert Flora. Accessed November 20, 2016. 
3. ASU Virtual Library of Phoenix Landscape Plants. Accessed November 20, 2016. 
4. Epple, Anne Orth, and Lewis E. Epple. A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona. Falcon Guides, 1995.

Abutilon palmeri