At the Palm Centre we grow Abutilion pictum, Abutilion pictum ‘Thompsonii’ and Abutilion grandiflora as well as some hybrids.

Plant of the Month – February 2008


The abutilions are members of the malvaceae family and are a genus of around 150 varieties some evergreen, some deciduous and encompassing annuals, perennials, shrubs and small trees.  Most of them come from tropical America but some are also native to North America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Leaves are usually straight-edged and can be round, oval or comprised of 3-7 lobes.  Flowers are generally single, bell-shaped and hang down – sometimes flowers are produced in groups.  Some species cannot stand frost whilst others can survive negative temperatures.  They prefer full or part-sun and will flower from early spring through to winter.

Abutilion are usually kept as glasshouse or indoor plants in cold climate areas and only take their place in outdoor garden schemes in tropical or sub-tropical areas.  Propagation can be seed sown in spring or by cuttings taken year round.  As with so many other plants they prefer well-drained, humus-rich soil.

At the Palm Centre we grow Abutilion pictum, Abutilion pictum ‘Thompsonii’ and Abutilion grandiflora as well as some hybrids.

Abutilion gradiflora – Large Leafed Abutilion – is a small tree which can reach a height of 2-3 metres.  Its leaves are round or oval, with slightly serrated edges.  It has yellow, bell-shaped flowers.  It can withstand short periods of frost and for this reason can be grown outdoors in coastal areas of the Aegean and Mediterranean.

{mosimage}Abutilion pictum – has green split leaves and orange flowers.  The species known as Abutilion pictum ‘Thompsonii’ or Abutilion pictum variegata has variegated leaves caused by the Dwarf Bean Mosaic Virus which gives the leaves the look of a yellow and green mosaic.  If grown in full sun the yellow on the leaves becomes more prominent.  Because it looks so attractive this essentially sick plant is frequently used in landscaping schemes.  If propagated from cuttings the new plants will also have variegated leaves; if grown from seed a virus-free, normal, plain green-leafed plant will be produced.

Nowadays plants originating from Central America are most used in landscaping schemes alongside hybrids which produce a profusion of flowers thus giving continuous colour.

The Palm Centre is open 1st June – 31st October but you can visit at any other time by appointment. 

Telephone: 0252 262 2892;


or, check out their website here.