Flowering Maple

Abutilon spp.

  • Adapt to a wide variety of temperatures.
  • Excellent for cool outdoor summer garden.
  • Vigorous, rapid growers.
  • Make great hanging baskets.

Flowering Maple plants’ lobed foliage easily passes for that of true maple trees. The delicate, five-petaled flowers peeping from beneath their leaves, however, place them in the mallow family. True to their name, the lantern-shaped blooms sway from the leaf stems from spring to fall, illuminating the garden with tiny flames of yellow, orange, red, pink or whites. Some Flowering Maple¬†hybrids add fuel to the floral fire with contrasting petal veins. Green leaves are the norm for the up-to-10-foot shrubs, although some varieties have white variegation, while the Abutilon mosaic virus speckles others with a golden yellow.

Chinese lanterns flourish in rich, well-drained soils, but their light requirements vary according to location. Plants in hot climates need full shade; elsewhere, they do best with four to six hours of sun each day. In coastal settings, wind-protected locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are best. Water as needed to maintain consistently moist soil during the growing season.

Common Names: Chinese lantern, Flowering maple, Parlour maple