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Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. tuberosus


Abelmoschus moschatus (Span.) Borss.Waalk. subsp. tuberosus

Family Name: Malvaceae
Synonyms: Abelmoschus rugosus Wall. ex Wight & Arn., Abelmoschus coccineus S.Y.Hu, Abelmoschus moschatus (Wall. ex Wight & Arn.) Hochr. var. rugosus, Abelmoschus brevicapsulatus (Hochr.) Hochr., Abelmoschus esquirolii (H.Lév.) S.Y.Hu, Hibiscus abelmoschus L.
Common Name: Musk Mallow


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
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Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant, Creeper
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


Native Distribution India, southern China, tropical Asia to the Pacific Islands.
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Spontaneous (Casual))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Trailing herb up to 2 m across and 1.5 m tall.
Foliage Its stalked leaves are alternate, hairy and heart-shaped to 3-5 lobed, up to 15 cm long, with toothed margins.
Stems Stems are soft and hairy.
Flowers Its flowers are 5-petaled, red to pink to cream coloured, with a prominent style bearing the female and male reproductive parts protruding from the centre of the flower. It resembles a hibiscus flower.
Fruit Its fruits are ovoid or round capsules with a pointed tip, angular, covered with short hairs, resembling the fruit of okra.
Habitat It grows in marshy areas to forest edges, often in open disturbed areas from sea level up to 450 m.
Cultivation It can be propagated from seed, the small tubers it produces or stem cuttings.
Ethnobotanical Uses Others: An aromatic oil is extracted from the seeds to make perfumes.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for planting in parks and gardens.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Storage Organ (Tuberous Root)


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Palmate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed

Non - Foliar and Storage

Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Root Tuber)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Red, Pink, Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Image Repository



Master ID 31088
Species ID 5478
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: 24 February 2022.