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Products > Plants - Browse Alphabetically > Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii'
Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii' - Variegated Flowering Maple

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Malvaceae (w/Bombacaceae & Sterculeacea)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Apricot Pink
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [A. striatum, Callianthe striata]
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii' (Variegated Flowering Maple) - An vigorous and upright evergreen and everblooming shrub grows 6 to 10 feet tall or more by nearly as wide, but usually seen a bit smaller. Its dark green maple leaf shaped leaves are mottled with yellow and it produces a profusion of pendant orange-flushed pink bell shaped flowers spring through fall and even sometimes in winter in our mild Santa Barbara climate.

It can tolerate full coastal sun but looks best with full morning, late afternoon sun or planted in bright shade. Give occasional to regular irrigation - not really drought tolerant but can get along with infrequent watering in cooler coastal gardens and tolerates temperatures down to around 20° F, so useful in USDA Zones 8 through 10. Give it some protection from wind as stems are brittle and tip prune to keep bushy and smaller.

Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii' has been long been grown in gardens and is great for brightening up a space with foliage that really glows and flowers that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. This plant originally grew in the São Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul area of Brazil and was first imported into England as a seedling in a shipment of Abutilon from the West Indies. The name Abutilon comes from the Arabic name "aubutilon" that was given to a mallow-like plant and the specific epithet is from the Latin word 'pictus' meaning "decorated", "embellished" or "painted" in reference to the variegated leaves. It was named and first published as Abutilon thompsonii by Harry James Veitch in 1868 in his Catalogue of New and Beautiful Plants. It became a cultivar or varietal name when later included with Abutilon pictum and is usually still seen listed as a cultivar of this species, but also as a variety of Abutilon striatum, which most recently (in 2012) was reclassified to Callianthe striata in the article " Callianthe (Malvaceae): A New Genus of Neotropical Malveae" by Aliya A. Donnell, Harvey E. Ballard Jr. and Philip D. Cantino in the summer issue of Systematic Botany V.37 N3. So not to confuse ourselves and our customers, we have retained the most familiar name. 

This information about Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.