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|Abutilon indicum, Sida indica|
Origin: Southeast Asia
Mostly used as an indoor houseplant, the flowering maple is a good alternative for those in climates that aren't suitable for maples to grow naturally. The trunk is somewhat woody, with two to three inch leaves which are quite similar to maple leaves. So far, rarely used as bonsai, but they are readily available and have 2 inch bell-shaped flowers which bloom year-round to recommend them. Shape is usually maintained through pruning, however wiring should work as long as care was taken to protect the branches. These plants do fine in ordinary potting soil.
Name:B. Richards McIntyre|
|This particular Abutilon species is becoming very prevalent here in Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota. I have seen it growing in corn fields and other places in those states although I am betting it is being found in many other states now, too. At first, I had real trouble believeing that this plant, which is fairly tropical, would grow on it's own here in the Northern US. But, we were able to identify it and it is becoming a rather noxious weed in Minnesota especially. Personally, I like it and find it very beautiful. I think the ones that people grow in their homes, like Parlour Maples, Abutilon etc. are hybrids of perhaps this species and Abutilon grandiflora. The 'normal' Parlour Maples that one grows in the home all year is definitely NOT hardy here yet this species is. I have it growing in my zone 5 garden right now and the seeds came with the soil I brought back from my partners parents farm in Minnesota. They all tell me to pull it up and make sure it doesn't seed. I ignored that advice. It's too beautiful and I would think, somewhat rare, to have any Abutilon species growing this far north.|
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