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Abutilon palmeri
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Palmer's Indian Mallow
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Abutilon palmeri

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About Palmer's Indian Mallow (Abutilon palmeri) Palmer's Abutilon (Abutilon palmeri) is a relatively rare species of the Malvaceae Family (mallows) native the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. It grows primarily on the eastern slopes of the Peninsular Range and the Western Sonora Desert, and in San Bernardino County in the low foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains (330-1,110 m). Flowers are cup-shaped (5 petals), approximately one inch in size. It produces a small fruit which is round, capsular, multi-parted and covered with silky fine hair similar to foliage. Branches and stems are also hairy with a red-brown coloring to the twigs. Bark ranges from green to brown. It is tough and easy to grow. For best results, plant in rocky or sandy well-draining soil. It tolerates occasional light summer watering.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
3 - 8 ft (0.9 - 2.4 m)

Max. Width
3 - 5 ft (0.9 - 1.5 m)


None, Slight

Growth Rate


Serrated, heart shaped to nearly round, bluish green and wooly

Flower Color
Orange, Yellow

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry slopes and canyons of the Peninsular Range, often east facing, in conjunction with desert transition chaparral and creosote bush scrub


Elevation ?
38' - 4336'

Annual Precip. ?
4.2" - 19.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.23" - 2.02"

Coldest Month ?
46.7° F - 55.1° F

Hottest Month ?
70.6° F - 83.5° F

Humidity ?
1.68 vpd - 34.62 vpd

Soil Description
Dry rocky, well draining soil

Soil Texture
Loamy Sand, Sand, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam, Sandy Loam

Soil PH
6 - 8


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 25° F

Wildlife Attracted
Butterflies (White Checkered-Skipper) other pollinators

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low, Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Very Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Deadhead if a neater appearance is desired. Tip prune to encourage more compact growth and flowering.

Propagation ?
Seeds.  For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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