(Abutilon species)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Abutilon species
Malvaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Flowers – raw or cooked. A delicious sweet flavour, they are excellent on their own or as part of a mixed salad[K]. The flowers produce nectar all the time they are open so, assuming the plant is grown indoors and is not visited by pollinating insects, the sweetness increases the longer the flower is open[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse[200]. Germination should take place within a few weeks. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots. Grow them on for at least the first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. This species is a hybrid, so the seedlings will not be true to type. Cuttings of young shoots, June in a frame[200]. Grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant out in spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200]. Grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant out in spring after the last expected frosts.
Requires a sunny position or part day shade in a fertile well-drained soil[200]. Dislikes drought[200]. All members of this genus have edible flowers – the leaves will also be edible but in our experience although they have a mild flavour the texture is not that pleasant. There has been much hybridisation within the genus by growers wishing to produce ornamental flowering plants and it is now rather difficult to assign species names for many of these cultivars. Consequently, this entry has been used to cover a range of hybrid forms of complex parentage involving several species but especially A. megapotanicum and A. pictum. Several cultivars are hardy in the mildest areas of Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5¡c when given the protection of a south or south-west facing wall[11, 200]. Plants are often deciduous in cold winters[219]. A deep mulch in winter and tying in growth to the wall will maximise protection in winter[200]. If the plant is cut back by cold weather, it will normally resprout from the base in the spring and can flower on the current year’s growth[202]. Dead-heading plants to prevent seeding can enhance longevity[200]. Tip-prune young plants to promote a bushy habit, older plants can be cut back hard annually as new growth commences in late winter or early spring if required[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Hybrids of garden origin involving several species, especially A. megapotanicum and A. pictum.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.