Abutilon otocarpum F.Muell.

Desert Lantern

Trans. Philos. Soc. Victoria 1: 13 (1854) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Sprawling or upright perennial (can die back severely in dry times) shrub to 70 cm tall; branchlets velvety, with glandular and stellate hairs below longer simple hairs. Leaves ovate, to 8 cm long and 6 cm wide, slightly discolorous; apex shortly acuminate to acute. Flowers solitary in upper axils; calyx 5-angled and ribbed, ± urceolate, 10–18 mm long; lobes ovate, clearly keeled basally, long-acute at apex; corolla just exceeding calyx; lobes 4–9.5 mm long, rounded apically; staminal column 1–2 mm long, glabrous; styles 10–17. Fruit very broadly ovoid, brownish, c. 10 mm high, stellate-pubescent with longer hairs along sutures, adjacent mericarps adhering for less than a quarter of their surface, eventually dissociating; mericarps 3-seeded, 6.5–7 mm high, 3–3.5 mm wide, notched at base; apically rounded, acuminate or with an erect awn to 0.5 mm long.

MuM, MSB, RobP. All mainland states. Rare, confined to red loam ridges and dunes near the floodplain of the Murray River in the far north-west (e.g. Hattah, Mildura and Robinvale areas). Flowering after summer rains.

Abutilon otocarpum is a very variable species, usually most easily recognised by the distinctly 5-keeled calyx. The fruit is enclosed by the expanded lower half of the calyx when young and often has the spent corolla still attached at its apex.

Source: Barker, R.M. (1996). Abutilon. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-11-08
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malvales
family Malvaceae
genus Abutilon
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Abutilon otocarpum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Abutilon otocarpum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales