Palmer's Indian Mallow
Superstition Mallow

Abutilon palmeri

Superstition Mallow, Abutilon palmeri, photo © by Michael Plagens

View looking at the top of a mature fruit of Palmer's Abutilon ready to release seeds from eleven schizocarps. Notice soft pubescence on the leaves. Near Bumblebee, Yavapai Co., Arizona. June 2012.

Superstition Mallow, Abutilon palmeri, photo © by Michael Plagens

This and the flower photo at right were taken at Estes Canyon, Ajo Mountains, Pima Co., Arizona. 12 Oct. 2014. The plants at this location were robust with larger than usual leaves.

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LEAVES: The broadly ovate leaves have a thick velvety texture due to abundant, soft hairs. The margins are shallow-toothed.

FLOWERS: Five bright yellow-orange petals. Prominent column of stamens at center of flower and the style rising from their center.

SHRUB: A spindly, slightly woody plant. Leafy after getting sufficient moisture, otherwise rather hard to find. Few plants are taller than 1 meter.

RANGE: Usually growing in canyon bottoms just out of the flood zone. Common in the Superstition Mountains north of Apache Junction. Scattered locations in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico and in parts of the southern California deserts.

FRUIT: At maturity each of the dozen or so carpal segments splits along the top to release one seed from each.


Superstition Mallow, Abutilon palmeri, photo © by Michael Plagens

Malvaceae -- Mallow Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 8 September 2012
updated 16 Oct. 2014.


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