Abutilon vitifolium (AGM)
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Abutilon is a large genus of approximately 150 species of broadleaf evergreens in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus includes annuals, perennials, shrubs, and small trees from 1–10 m tall, and is found in the tropical and subtropical regions of all continents. The leaves are alternate, unlobed or palmately lobed with 3-7 lobes. The flowers are conspicuous, with five petals, mostly red, pink, orange, yellow or white. Common names include Abutilon, Chinese Bell Flower, Chinese Lantern, Mallow, Indian Mallow, and Flowering Maple (for the maple-like leaves of some species, although the genus is not related to the true maples). Abutilon vitifolium is an unusual medium-sized, frost hardy deciduous shrub, with mauve or purple-blue bowl shaped flowers, up to 6cm across, in mid late Summer. It grows well in direct sun, and prefers medium levels of water. This handsome and vigorous Chilean shrub is best planted in late spring to give it time to mature before winter. A sunny warm wall with good shelter from frosty winds is the best position for it in most gardens, although it will make a large, prominent, free-standing shrub in milder areas. The downy, deeply-cut leaves, a subtle grey-green and vine-shaped, are attractive in all seasons, but especially when backing the profusion of wide open flowers. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
The plant prefers light sandy or well-drained soils in neutral or basic alkaline soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade, in soils ranging from a pH of 5.5 (very acidic ranges from 5.2 to 5.5) to 7 (neutral ranges from 6.6 to 7.5). It is adapted to clay loam, loam, loamy sand, sand, sandy clay, sandy clay loam and sandy loam soils.
Uses: Specimen or Mixed Planting