Abutilon grandifolium (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
Introduction
List of species


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Abutilon grandifolium (Willd.) Sweet


Protologue: Hort. Brit.: 53 (1826).
Family: Malvaceae.
Chromosome number: 2n = 42.

Synonyms

  • Sida grandifolia Willd. (1809),
  • Abutilon tortuosum Guill. & Perr. (1831).

Vernacular names

  • 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.

Uses

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.

Description

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.

Ecology

Abutilon grandifolium occurs at 500–1400 m altitude, along rivers, in wasteland and as a weed in cultivation.

Genetic resources

In view of its wide distribution and occurrence in disturbed habitats, Abutilon grandifolium is not threatened by genetic erosion.

Prospects

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.

Major references

  • Afaq-Husain, S., Saeed, V.A. & Shahid-Husain, S., 1988. Cytological investigations in Abutilon Mill., from Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 20: 191–199.
  • Burkill, H.M., 1997. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 4, Families M–R. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 969 pp.
  • Marais, W. & Friedmann, F., 1987. Malvacées. In: Bosser, J., Cadet, T., Guého, J. & Marais, W. (Editors). Flore des Mascareignes. Familles 51–62. The Sugar Industry Research Institute, Mauritius, l’Office de la Recherche Scientifique Outre-Mer, Paris, France & Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 57 pp.

Other references

  • Brink, M., Jansen, P.C.M. & Bosch, C.H., 2003. Minor fibre plants. In: Brink, M. & Escobin, R.P. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 17. Fibre plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 244–300.
  • Brochmann, C. & Rustan, Ø.H., 2002. Additions to the vascular flora of Cabo Verde 4. Garcia de Orta, Série de Botânica 16(1–2): 5–31.
  • Fernandez de la Pradilla, C., 1978. Plantes médicinales vendues sur les marchés de Ouagadougou. Rapport, deuxième édition. Petit Séminaire de Pabre, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 46 pp.
  • Keay, R.W.J., 1958. Malvaceae. In: Keay, R.W.J. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 1, part 2. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 335–350.
  • Nacoulma-Ouédraogo, O., Millogo-Rasolodimby, J. & Guinko, S., 1998. Les plantes herbacées dans la thérapie des piqûres d’insectes. Revue de médecines et pharmacopées africaines 11–12: 165–175.
  • van Borssum-Waalkes, J., 1966. Malaysian Malvaceae revised. Blumea 14: 1–251.

Author(s)

  • 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 28 November 2017.