Plants of
South Australia
Abutilon macrum
Slender Lantern-bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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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. Macrum from the Latin 'macer' meaning lean, thin referring to its slender habit or narrow leaves.

Distribution and status

Found scattered in the northern part of South Australia, growing on red gravelly or sandy soil in rocky or gravelly ranges, hills or rises, plains, intermittent watercourses and run-on areas. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect slender shrub to 2 m high covered in short stellate hairs. Leaves on a short stalk, grey, narrow or broadly oblong to 2.5 cm long, hairy above and below, margin serrate. Inflorescence solitary on a long stalk with yellow-orange flower not much longer than the hairy calyx. Flowering between August and September. Fruits are hairy brown papery capsule to 6 mm diameter and 8 mm long with a truncate end and up to 10 segments, each containing 2 or 3 hairy seeds. 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).

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA1,650 (2.16 g)150+19-Apr-2011KHB582
Flinders Ranges
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.