Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Indian Mallow, Shrubby Indian Mallow, Hoary Abutilon, Pelotazo, Pelotazo Chico, Tronadora
Abutilon incanum

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Abutilon (a-BEW-tih-lon) (Info)
Species: incanum (in-KAN-num) (Info)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral htop On Dec 14, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant that is native to Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii and New Mexico. I find it listed as a native Texas plant as well; however, the USDA Plants Database does not list it as such. It can be found in dry, rocky open woodlands and prairies from the Edwards Plateau to West Texas.

Shrubby Indian Mallow grows to be up to 40 inches (1 m) tall (rarely taller). The 5-petalled, up to 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) wide flowers (petals may be pink, white, or yellow) each have a dark red basal spot with reddish veins extending from it. The heart-shaped, grayish appearing, velvety leaves are petioled, and somewhat elongated. The velvety foliage (covered in fine stellate hairs) provides interesting texture in a xeric garden. They have sharp or rounded toothed margins. The brown seed capsules have 5 mericarps which helps distinguish it from other species. Each mericarp has 3 seeds which are about 1.8 to 2 mm long To encourage bushy new spring growth, cut it back in the spring. Indian mallow is a larval host plant and a nectar source for several butterfly species including the Texas Powdered Skipper and Common Streaky-Skipper.

There are 2 subspecies:
Abutilon incanum ssp. incanum ( pelotazo)
Abutilon incanum ssp. pringlei (Pringle abutilon, Pringle's abutilon)

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