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Coastal Indian mallow
Abutilon permolle
Malvaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A fairly common element of rockland hammock edges in the Florida Keys, rarer elsewhere. It tolerates disturbed, even scraped, soils, but needs some organic material to thrive.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Medium shrub with velvety leaves and showy yellow flowers.
Dimensions:
Typically 3-6 feet in height. Usually taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties; disjunct in Manatee County, where presumed extirpated; West Indies, Mexico and Central America.
Habitats:
Rockland hammock edges and canopy gaps and coastal rock barrens.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate to high; plants growing in extremely dry soils may die during extended periods of drought.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, about 1" wide.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak winter to spring.
Fruit:
Narrow carpels arranged in a cup shape, separating at maturity.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Possible larval host plant for common checkered-skipper (Pyrgus communis), mallow scrub-hairstreak (Strymon istapa) and tropical checkered-skipper (Pyrgus oileus) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed. Small seedlings are easily transplanted.
Comments:
The attractive silvery foliage and showy yellow flowers makes this a good choice in sunny, coastal, rockand areas.


 


Roger L. Hammer
James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida