Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Abutilon auritum (Wall. ex Link) Sweet

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Flower and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Sweet, R. (1826) Sweet's Hortus Britannicus : 53.

Common name

Asian Indian Mallow


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-3 m tall.


Leaf blades up to 14-17.5 x 8.5-15 cm. Lower surface of the leaf blade densely clothed in short stellate hairs, upper surface of the leaf blade also clothed in stellate hairs but more sparsely than the lower surface. Simple hairs also present on both surfaces. About seven veins (counting the midrib) radiate from the base of the leaf blade. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Stipules narrowly cordate, about 8-15 x 4-15 mm. A few vessels visible around the margin of the twig pith.


Pedicels about 20 mm long. Calyx and pedicel densely clothed in long white hairs. Calyx about 8-10 mm long. Five pale-coloured glands visible on the inner surface of the calyx close to the base of each lobe. Corolla about 10-12 mm long. Petals joined to one another by the fused anther filaments. Anthers U-shaped, fused in bundles of five. Pollen white. Ovary densely hairy, about 9-12 locular. Stigmas about 9-12.


Fruits silvery hairy, about 9-11 x 9-14 mm, about 10-12-lobed, calyx persistent at the base. Seeds flattened, reniform or cordate, about 2-3 x 1.5-2 mm.


Cotyledons cordate to orbicular, about 6-11 x 6-11 mm, both the upper and lower surfaces clothed mainly in simple or glandular hairs. Petioles much longer than the cotyledons. First pair of leaves with toothed margins and stellate hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade cordate, about 3.5-5 x 3.3-3.5 cm, upper surface clothed in simple and stellate hairs, lower surface sparsely clothed in long simple hairs and densely clothed in short stellate hairs. Petiole about as long as the leaf blade. Stipules linear or narrowly triangular, 2-9 mm long. Stem clothed in short stellate hairs and scattered long simple hairs. Terminal bud densely hairy. Seed germination time 11 to 120 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WACYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range in CYP and NEQ from near sea level to 750 m. Grows as an understory plant in monsoon forest, vine thickets, beach forest and gallery forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Sida aurita Wall. ex Link, En Hort. Berol. 2: 206(1822), Type: Cultivated plant Botanical Garden Calcutta, origin Java, Wallich 1860; neo: K-W. Fide Borsuum Waalkes (1966).
RFK Code
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