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Flowering Maple

Scientifically known as Abutilon striatum, and commonly referred to as Flowering Maple, this delicate flowering vine has got nothing to do with the maple tree. The name, however is derived from the resemblance of its leaves' shape to that of the Maple trees. Flowering Maple belongs to the Mallow family of plants called Malvaceae and has close relations with various genuses like Mallows, Hollyhocks, Cotton, Hibiscus and many more.

A native to Brazilian soil, Flowering Maple can also be traced in the Southern and Central America. Earlier in the 19th century , these flowers were greatly welcomed in the regions of Europe and America however today it seems that these plants have lost their charm in the glow of various other attractive flowers. Also known as Chinese lantern, the plant attracts a lot of attention due to its magnificent structure and the pretty flowers.

 

The entire world knows Flowering Maple through different names like Abutilon, Chinese Bell Flower, Chinese Lantern, Mallow and Indian Mallow.

 

How does it look like?
Flowering Maple is a flower bearing vine which needs support to climb up. It is a well known indoor plant which is specially used for ornamental purposes. The leaves are marked with light green patches and are Maple leaf shaped. Big and attractive flowers of various colors such as yellow and red decorate the plant. The flowers have large and purple colored anthers which bear the pollens.

The blooming season for most of the varieties of Flowering Maples ranges from April through June however they often flower through winters as well. Each flower differ according to the varieties. Foliage is usually pale green, but there are variegated forms with white or yellow mottling. And interestingly this mottling is resulted due to a viral disease.

 

Uses of Flowering Maple

  • The attractive foliage helps the plant to be a nice indoor plant.
  • The beautiful bell like flowers are a mainstay as the plant turns an year old.
  • And the florists and gardeners find these beautiful flowers to be of permanent delight.
  • The evergreen foliage makes this beautiful vine a popular indoor plant which doesn't need extra care and grows well in tolerant conditions.
   

Varieties
Most prominent varieties of hybrid Flowering Maple are:

Abutilon vitifolium
Every gardeners delight
A wonderful evergreen plant.

Abutilon megapotamicum 'Variegatum'
Red and yellow flowers
Trails with the progression of age
Suited well to cascade bonsai


Abutilon pictum

A bushy variety
Diverse varieties
Cultivated for colorful flowers
'Tangerine Dream' and 'Thompsonii' are the two main varieties.

Growth and care
Seeding is the best method to propagate Flowering Maple plant however in spring cutting can also be preferred.

A well planned and nicely organized growth system helps a plant to grow and flourish well.

Conditions that need to be well maintained to help a plant grow in the best manner are as following:
Flowering Maple thrive extremely well in sun. Minimum four hours of direct sunlight leads them to bloom adequately.

Flowering Maple is a warm weather plant which cannot withstand frosty conditions.

Water levels need to be maintained in a balanced manner as the plant needs to be moistened most of the times however it doesn't thrive well in wet conditions. Therefore well drained soils are the best option.

Though ordinary soil is good for their propagation but from time to time application of fertilizers ensures that the plant does not remain malnutritioned.

Regular pruning and wiring in early spring and late fall helps the beautiful plant to remain in shape and look attractive as well.

Insecticides and pesticides help in keeping away the harmful pests and insects like Spider mites, white flies, aphids, etc.

 
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