Family: Malvaceae
Common Name: Chinese Lantern, Flowering Maple

The beautiful, lantern-shaped flowers and shapely, maple-like leaves make these evergreen shrubs a popular choice. The leaves of some are variegated and the pendulous flowers come in a range of colors from purple, bright red and pink to yellow, orange and white.


A. x hybridum grows densely when regularly pruned, with maple-like green leaves and abundant flowers in various colors from spring to autumn. There are many cultivars of A. x hybridum but they may not all be available in all areas. They include 'Boule de Neige', pure white, to 1.2 m (4 ft); 'Carmine', carmine pink, to 1.8 m (6 ft); 'Eclipse', orange, to 1.8 m (6 ft); 'Emperor', crimson, to 1.2 m (4 ft); 'Jubilee', rose pink, to 1.8 m (6 ft); 'Kuller's Surprise', red with yellow center, to 1.8 m (6 ft); 'Souvenir de Bonn', orange-striped flowers and also attractive green and cream variegated leaves, to 2.4 m (8 ft); 'Sydney Belle', pure yellow, to 1.2 m (4 ft); 'Tunisia', salmon pink, to 1.8 m (6 ft); 'Yellow Gem', soft yellow flowers, to 1.8 m (6 ft).

A. megapotamicum, which is commonly known as Brazilian bell or lantern flower, originates from South America. It is a sprawling plant with long, drooping branches and small, arrow-shaped leaves. From spring to autumn, the small pendulous flowers have slender yellow petals and red calyces with prominent stamens. Cultivar 'Variegatum' has prettily variegated leaves which light up a shaded area.


The abutilons, being tender, are mostly grown under glass but A. megapotamicum, is hardy in mild Climates.


Zones 9 and 10.

Abies      Acacia