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The most popular of the Abelias. An evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub with a rounded, fountain-like growth habit. Fast-growing to 4-8 ft tall and 4-6 ft wide. Fine-textured, glossy, oval, dark green leaves, 2 inches long. New growth has bronze color. Prolific, tiny white with pink sepals tubular flowers (less than 1 inch long) in clusters at stem ends, from summer to fall some times longer. Flowers are slightly fragrant.
The flowers appear in the upper leaf axils and stem ends, 1-8 together in a short cyme; they are pendulous, white to pink, bell-shaped with a five-lobed corolla.
The species from warm climates are evergreen, and colder climate species deciduous.
Species and varieties:
Abrus precatorius has small pretty purple flowers located at the end of the stalks. Fruits are short, inflated pods, splitting open when mature to reveal the round; hard and shiny seeds which are scarlet, but black at the base. Seeds contain abrin, one of the most toxic plant poisons known.
This is a rather lovely, deciduous shrub with downy, greyish, vine-shaped leaves. Fast-growing and, if left to its own devices, eventually large and handsome, it bears from a fairly early age copious numbers of large, pale to deep mauve flowers. Although most profuse in late spring or early summer, blooms can be found as late as October. Likes a warm position.
Abutilon x hybridum is a collective name for several varieties. Upright, arching growth with maple-like foliage. Drooping, lantern-like blooms in white, yellow, pink or red in spring. Forms a natural trellis-like shape without training. This is a great container plant. Prune in early spring, and pinch tips to keep bushy.