Abutilon palmeri (Indian Mallow) A tough dense, rounded fast growing semi-evergreen shrub that reaches to 4 to 5 feet tall by as wide with silvery soft velvety heart-shaped leaves with dentate margins and 1 inch wide slightly cup shaped gold to apricot colored flowers nearly year round with peak bloom in spring and summer. After the flower petals have dropped the fuzzy sepals remain with the developing fruit and can be used in dry flower arrangements.
Plant in full sun (even with reflected heat) or light shade in hot inland deserts (where it has a more open habit) in a well-draining soil with only occasional to very little irrigation. In dry years can be drought deciduous and so benefits from a periodic watering but does not want to be overwatered, particularly in heavy soils, which it tolerates so long as they drain. Can survive short periods of cold down to around 25° F and if tips are damaged by cold temperatures a bit lower, they can be pruned off in early spring, but in normal years it is best to prune back regularly after flowering. May require protection from rabbits and other herbivores when young. A great plant for the dry garden and particularly nice near paths or seating areas where foliage and flowers can be appreciated.
Indian Mallow is native to the low Sonoran Desert in southern California, Arizona and northwestern Mexico and in the San Jacinto Mountain area where it can be found on dry rocky east facing mountain slopes and Creosote Buch scrublands from 1,800 to 2,400 feet. The name for the genus is a Latinized Arabic word that was used for one species of Abutilon or a similar plant. The specific epithet honors the British born self-taught botanist and naturalist Edward Palmer (1829-1911) who came to the US as a teenager and worked for the Department of Agriculture, the Smithsonian Institute and the Army Medical Museum, eventually leading an expedition to explore the flora and fauna of California and Death Valley. Other common names include Palmer's Abutilon, Superstition Mallow, and Palmer's Indian Mallow. Our plants from seed received from Seedhunt.
Information about Abutilon palmeri displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.