Plants of
South Australia
Abutilon fraseri ssp. diplotrichum
Malvaceae
Dwarf Lantern-bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Abutilon from the Arabic 'aubutilun' used for mallow-like plant and quoted by the Arabian physician Avicenna as belonging to this or some allied genus. Fraseri named after Charles Fraser (1788-1831), a Scottish-born plant collector who was appointed first Colonial Botanist and Superintendent of the Botanic Gardens of New South Wales. Diplotrichum from the Greek 'diploys' meaning two and 'trichos' meaning hairs; referring to the multicellular hairs towards the outer apex of the fruits and mericarps.

Distribution and status

Found in the eastern central part of South Australia, growing on rocky slopes or outcrops. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Very rare in Victoria. Rare in Queensland and New South Wales.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Upright or spreading perennial shrub to 100 cm tall, covered in velvety hairs. Leaves ovate, to 7 cm long and 4 cm wide. Flowers solitary or in groups with large yellow flowers. This subspecies differ from the other subspecies found in South Australia, Abultion fraseri ssp. fraseri which have densely tomentose hairs all over the exposed portions of the fruits and mericarps. Flowers in spring. Fruits are brown transversely rectangular capsule to 8.5 mm diameter with up to 10 angles, glabrous or sparsely pilose with simple multicellular hairs. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. Collect mature capsules, those that are turning pale straw colour and contain dark hard seeds. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).