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Abutilon malacum (Yellow indian mallow)
Anderson, Wynn

Abutilon malacum

Abutilon malacum S. Watson

Yellow Indian Mallow

Malvaceae (Mallow Family)


USDA Symbol: ABMA3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Ovate
Leaf Pubescence: Tomentose
Leaf Margin: Serrulate
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Base: Cordate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Inflorescence: Panicle , Terminal
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: "Broadly ovate, mostly 3-7 cm long, sharply serrate." "coarsely stellate." (4).
Flower: "in a compact panicle; calyx 6-8 mm long; petals 9-15 mm long; staminal column 3-4 mm long, pallid; styles 5." (4).
Fruit: Schizocarpic. "more or less cylindrical, 6-7 mm long, 7-9 mm diameter, coarsely stellate-pubescent; mericarps 5, apically acute, 3-seeded." (4).

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: "Panicles axillary and terminal; flowers numerous and short-pedicelled; calyx lobes lanceolate, acute to acuminate, 6-8 mm. long; petals orange-color, about twice as long as the calyx;" (Ref 293). Given suitable conditions, may flower anytime throughout the year.


Native Distribution: West Texas, southern New Mexico and southern Arizona and adjacent Mexico.
Native Habitat: "On rocky hills, dry slopes and gravelly flats" (293). "In open arid habitats; 550-900 m (1800-3100 ft)" (4).

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or gravelly soils.


Use Ornamental: Useful in its native range as a flowering ornamental.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Larval host of Celotes limpia, Chisos Streaky Skipper in West Texas and northern Mexico. (1193).
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High


Bibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 1193 - The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide (1992) Scott, J.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Abutilon malacum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Abutilon malacum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Abutilon malacum


Record Modified: 2021-02-24
Research By: Joseph A. Marcus

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