Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Abutilon palmeri

Abutilon palmeri | Palmer's Abutilon, Palmer’s Indian Mallow, Superstition Mallow

Abutilon palmeri is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, found in arid climates growing on rocky, dry slopes. This is not your average Abutilon ―the plant is remarkable for its velvety, heart-shaped leaves with a blue-gray cast. Flowers abundantly spring through summer, producing a dazzling display of bright golden-orange colored flowers. Abutilon palmeri tolerates reflected heat, and some supplemental summer watering in well drained soil, but dislikes cold soggy soil during winter. Named after Dr. Edward Palmer, an American naturalist who made extensive collections of plants from California & Baja California. He collected mainly along the coast and nearby islands.

Historical Reference: Abutilon palmeri, a form of this species growing very luxuriantly on a portion of Santa Margarita Island where all the vegetation was rank. Leaves very long, on petioles very much longer than the pedicels: earliest flowers solitary in the axils, the lower jointed above the middle, the upper near the base. The axillary buds that are usually dormant in this species are, in these specimens, developed into long side branches, giving a very different appearance to the inflorescence. Seeds as in type specimens with which they were compared, appear under the lens to be roughened with white curved bristles arising from reddish papillae.

Volume 2 of Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences
The Academy, 1890