Sunday, November 11, 2012

Flowering Maple (Abutilon striatum)

I got some cuttings of this lovely hibiscus last December from a relative in South Alabama. I have 2 of these plants now, each about 4 feet tall and leaves half as big as my stretched hand. The leaves look like maple leaves, hence the name flowering maple. I intend to make some cuttings and maybe have a few for sale next summer. I wish I had had the presence of mind to plant one in the ground earlier in the season, just to see if it could overwinter. I think it might be too late to try that now. It probably needs some time to get established before frost. Last year I did plant several other seed grown flowering maples in the flower bed and one of them returned this year, so it is possible.
I think this one, Abutilon striatum, is just stunning with it's dark veins in orange petals. My plant is blooming more now than it did in the summer. Don't know if it is because of the heat or some other nutritional reason.
  Update: November 11, 2012
I have 2 of these plants in pots now. Both are over 6 feet tall, not including pot. One of these is in the old cooler greenhouse and one is in a large outdoor pot. Both are still blooming profusely. When I miss a watering, they advertise that fact by turning a leaf or two yellow. These are grand and very statuesque. I think they would make a grand specimen plant in a large bed, but I also like them close enough so the beautiful veins in the flowers can be appreciated.

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