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Common Name:

Flowering Maples

Scientific Name:

Abutilon spp.

Family Name:

Malvaceae

Description:

Flowering Maples are so named due to the strong resemblence of the leaves to those of the true maples (Acer spp.). Attractive, often variegated, foliage and season long bell-shaped flowers are the principle assets. Hummingbirds love the flowers. Some species are native to or naturalized in the Rio Grande Valley; the Velvetleaf Mallow (Wissadula holosericeea) is a close relative found in the same region. Ultimate size and landscape use varies from a summer annual to a tropical tree depending upon the genotype and locale of growth.

Plant Habit or Use:

Warm season annual, perennial, small shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, small tree, tropical, interiorscape

Exposure:

sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

Yellow, orange, pink, red, or sometimes white

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer, fall, winter

Fruit Characteristics:

Schizocarp, not ornamental

Height:

3 ft to 4 ft as an annual, 6 ft to 10 ft shrub, rarely 20 ft small tree

Width:

3 ft to 10 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: High Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: High Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: High Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

USDA Hardiness Zones:

9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Generally adaptable tropical shrub or small tree as long as the soil is not permanently wet. Can tolerate some soil salts, but intolerant of foliar salts. Tendency to become leggy. Susceptible to white fly, aphids, and several chewing insects.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.