Chinese Lantern (Abutilon megapotamicum)


Abutilon megapotamicum (Spreng.) A. St.-Hil. & Naudin 1842, commonly called Chinese Lantern, Flowering Maple, Brazilian Bell Flower, Chinese Bell Flower or Trailing Abutilon is a vine-like or climbing shrub, native to South America (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay).

As we found a Chinese Lantern (Abutilon megapotamicum) plant a few days ago in Kamthieng Market in our hometown Chiang Mai, North Thailand, we`ve been told that the plant, with its cute flowers, reminescent of a Chinese lantern is a Hibiscus. After a long research we came across the real identity of that small vine-like shrub. Like its relative Hibiscus the Flowering Maple (Abutilon megapotamicum) belongs to the mallow family (Malvaceae), but Abutilon is an own genus with about 200 species, mostly native to South America. The deciduous or partially evergreen Chinese Lantern can reach a height or width of about 2-2,50 meters. The name flowering maple is derived from the small maple-like leaves. Flowers get a length of about 5-6 cm. Flowering period: Late Spring - Autumn. The Chinese Lantern (Abutilon megapotamicum) requires full sun and a moist but well-drained soil. The tropical plant is best cultivated in a hanging basket.

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Image: Chinese Lantern (Abutilon megapotamicum)

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