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