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Abutilon indicum

Family Name: Malvaceae
Synonyms: Abelmoschus Mallow, Abelmoschus Mallow
Common Name: India Abutilon, Monkey Bush, 磨盘草
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Herb & Spice Woody Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous)
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 2.5 m


Native Distribution India, China, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Seychelles, Mauritius

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A multi-branched, erect velvety-pubescent subshrub with round stem, often tinged with purple, up to 2.5m in height.
Foliage Leaves simple, circular-ovate or heart-shaped, 5-12cm long and wide; both sides softly velvety-pubescent, alternately arranged, with coarsely crenate-serrate margins. Petiole 2-4cm, stipules subulate, 1-2mm, curved outward.
Others - Plant Morphology Flower: Flowers solitary, yellow, 2-3cm across, axillary. Petals 5, triangular-ovate, 7-8mm, imbricate, deltoid-obovate, staminal-tube hirsute with stellate hairs. Pedicels 4-7cm; articulate near apex, grey stellate puberulent. Calyx green, ovate & apiculate, lobes divided in the middle. Flowers open in the evening. Fruit: Fruits circular, flat topped, 1.5cm diameter, black, with 11-20 radiating carpels, each carpel flattened, somewhat boatshaped. Fruits are hispid, long stellate scarbous, with awns erect. Seed: Seeds reniform, slightly stellate, pubescent, dark brown or black.
Cultivation Easily grown from seeds. Prefers fertile & well-drained soils. Propagated by seeds or by taking tip cuttings.The genus name is derived from Arabic awbūtīlūn abutilon . Abutilon is a large genus of broadleaf evergreens in the mallow family, Malvaceae, thus the use of the common English name "Mallow" in its range of common names. The species "indicum" means from Indicus of or pertaining to India or Indian in latin, in this case, refers to the orgin of the plant - India. Another of its common name "Flowering Maple" is obtained for the maple-like leaves of the plant, although the genus is not related to that of the true maples.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb and Spice)
[Others]: Medicinal: This plant is often used as a medicinal plant. Extract of imbibed dried seeds is used as purgative. The seeds are powdered & ingested to treat dysentery & stomach ache. Seeds are laxative, diuretic & emollient. Tea from dried roots is used to treat urine incontinence & also dysentery & fever. Tea from dried leaves is also used to treat dysentery & fever. Crushed leaves with small amount of water to relieve abscess inflammation, boils, gingivitis, toothache & ulcers. Flowers, laxative. Products: Fibres from stems are harvested to make jute & paper. Fibres also used in rope-making - coarse but flexible, strong & take dyes well. Seeds contain approximately 19% of a semi-drying oil.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden, Wildflower Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Green

Image Repository



Master ID 286
Species ID 1582
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.