Callianthe Species, Chinese Lanterns, Flowering Maple, Trailing Abutilon

Callianthe megapotamica

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Callianthe
Species: megapotamica (meg-uh-poh-TAM-ih-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Abutilon inflatum
Synonym:Abutilon megapotamicum
Synonym:Periptera megapotamica
Synonym:Sida leopoldii
Synonym:Sida megapotamica
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From hardwood cuttings

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Montgomery, Alabama

Burlingame, California

Citrus Heights, California

Fremont, California

San Jose, California

Stanford, California

Winter Springs, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Snellville, Georgia

Port Republic, Maryland

Mesilla Park, New Mexico

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Saint Helens, Oregon

Houston, Texas

Spring, Texas

Puyallup, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 2, 2016, aphclr from Port Republic, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

I was really attracted to this plant especially when I heard it might be hard in my area (7b). I tried it in part sun under a thick layer of leaf mold. It has returned two years in a row, the key is not to fool with the area until at least late May when it emerges, slowly but it makes up time. The only advice I would add is that it really is not suited to planting in a mixed border as it tends to be sprawling and low growing and as a result is easily lost. Although it is hardy in my area I would recommend planting it either close to a path or in a pot so that it can be easily viewed!


On Jul 10, 2005, gingern from Irvine, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Abutilons need plenty of room to grow - they get very wide. Great in a large mixed container with something tall and spikey. Heavy feeders.


On Jan 2, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington
This is a very interesting flowering annual here. The blooms resemble small brightly colored Chinese lanterns. The foliage is green with clear yellow spotting. Unfortunately here it seems to be a magnet for whitefly. It is best used in mixed pots or hanging baskets. To winter over here it has to be moved into the greenhouse and closely watched for whitefly. But have given up on trying to winter over because of this attraction to insects. Good luck with your attempts.