Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Night Flowering Maple, Purple-flowered Indian Mallow
Abutilon purpurascens

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Abutilon (a-BEW-tih-lon) (Info)
Species: purpurascens (pur-pur-ESS-kenz) (Info)

Synonym:Abutilon esculentum

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

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


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #1 of Abutilon purpurascens by Monocromatico


No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Monocromatico On Sep 30, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is a 3-5m tall shrub, with broad, heart shaped leaves. The flowers are single, bell shaped, with pink or white variations, always with remarked veins (on the pink flowers, these veins are darker, almost red).

The interesting point about this plant is the pollination. The flowers have an unpleasant smell that turns stronger at night (you can not sense it unless you stick your nose in it). The flower, at night, leaves the bell shape behind and opens the petals, exposing the yellow reproductive organs. Bats are atracted by this smell, so they visit the flower after its nectar. You can always hear flapping wings at night near this plant. The flowers stay on the plant for several nights (Im not sure for how long, exactly)

It needs full sun, but tolerates some shade. It likes sandy soil with some organic components. Water it regularly, and keep it warm all the year.

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