Abutilon grandifolium (PROTA)
Abutilon grandifolium (Willd.) Sweet
- Protologue: Hort. Brit.: 53 (1826).
- Family: Malvaceae.
- Chromosome number: 2n = 42.
Sida grandifolia Willd. (1809), Abutilon tortuosum Guill. & Perr. (1831).
Hairy abutilon, hairy Indian mallow (En).
Origin and geographic distribution
Abutilon grandifolium is native to South America. It is cultivated in the tropics and has widely become naturalized. Countries where the species is recorded in tropical Africa include Cape Verde, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique and Réunion.
Abutilon grandifolium is cultivated in the tropics as a fibre plant and as an ornamental. For instance in Mozambique it has been grown as a potential fibre crop. In Burkina Faso decoctions of leafy or fruiting stems are applied as enema for the treatment of measles, and the leaves and stems are used internally and externally for the treatment of insect bites.
Perennial herb or shrub up to 3 m tall; branches covered with long and slender hairs. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules subulate, caducous; petiole 5–20 cm long; blade ovate, up to 20 cm × 15 cm, base cordate, apex acute or subacuminate, margin toothed, 6–7-nerved, both surfaces stellate hairy. Inflorescence axillary, 1–2-flowered; peduncle 4–5 cm long, up to 12 cm in mature fruit. Flowers bisexual, regular; epicalyx absent; calyx 5-lobed, 1–1.5 cm long, accrescent, with broadly oval segments; petals 5, united at the base and adnate to the base of the staminal column, yellow; stamens many, staminal column very short; ovary superior. Fruit a subglobose schizocarp of follicle-like mericarps; mericarps 8–10, oblong, 12 mm × 7 mm, with an ascendant awn 1.5–2 mm long, hairy, tardily separating, 2–5-seeded.
Abutilon comprises 100–150 species and is distributed in the tropics and subtropics. There is a need for further taxonomical study as the circumscription of several species is obscure.
Growth and development
Abutilon grandifolium occurs at 500–1400 m altitude, along rivers, in wasteland and as a weed in cultivation.
In view of its wide distribution and occurrence in disturbed habitats, Abutilon grandifolium is not threatened by genetic erosion.
Although Abutilon grandifolium has been cultivated in Mozambique as a potential fibre crop, very little information is available on the properties of the fibre as well as on other uses made of the plant in tropical Africa. Therefore it is difficult to assess the potential of this plant.
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- E.G. Achigan Dako
PROTA Network Office Africa, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Correct citation of this article
Achigan-Dako, E.G., 2010. Abutilon grandifolium (Willd.) Sweet. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. <http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp>.
Accessed 6 October 2022.
- See the Prota4U database.