Abutilon grandifolium (MALVACEAE) Hairy Abutilon

Weeds to Whack

A native of South America, Abutilon grandifolium is a garden escapee found on waste ground. It is a shrub to 2 m (sometimes more) with hairy stems and leaves. The hairs are simple, to 5 mm. Deeply lobed, toothed leaves to 15 cm come to a point at the tip. They look more or less like a circle pointed on one side (droplet shaped). A well-known weed in the Pacific region the USA, New Zealand and Australia. A different Abutilon (A. x hybridum) is in cultivation in Australia but has not misbehaved and does not deserve to be considered a weed.
Photo: Robert Whyte


Flowers solitary or in rounded groups, yellow to golden, classically hibiscus shaped. The fruit is dry, and breaks up into enclosed, one-seeded units.
Photo: Mark Crocker

Juvenile (naturalised)

In the Enoggera catchment, this plant was mistakenly introduced into our revegetation as Abutilon oxycarpum, a much more delicate, smaller, native plant. We have sinced spent many person-hours trying to get rid of it. Abutilon comes from the Arabic name for certain mulberries which have leaves somewhat resembling these Malvaceous plants. This specimen was photographed on Enoggera Creek near Yoorala Street, The Gap on Wednesday 27 December 2006.
Photo: Robert Whyte