Abutilon pictum (Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.) Walp.

Chinese Lantern

Repert. Bot. Syst. 1: 324 (1842) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Shrub or small tree to 5 m tall; branches subglabrous. Leaves palmately 3–5-lobed, mostly 5–15 cm long, 5–8 cm wide, discolorous, sparsely stellate-hairy; margins serrate or dentate; apex long acuminate. Flowers axillary, solitary, pendulous; calyx 5-ribbed, usually with additional faint ribs along margins of lobes, campanulate, 20–30 mm long, united for less than half its length; lobes ovate-lanceolate; corolla yellowish to orange, sometimes with purple veins, distinctly exceeding the calyx; lobes 25–50 mm long, rounded to acute apically; staminal column usually longer than corolla, glabrous; styles 10–14. Fruit not seen.   Flowers Sep.–Nov.

*GipP, *VVP. Also naturalised in Qld. Native to Brazil. Widely cultivated, plants occasionally escaping cultivation. Populations observed in the Melbourne region are apparently sterile, spreading vigorously via root suckers, forming dense localised stands.

Cultivated forms of Abutilon pictum can be highly variable and difficult to distinguish from A. ×hybridum, a hybrid of garden origin which is likely to have been derived from A. pictum and A. darwinii Hook.f.  

Flowers are edible and may be eaten cooked or raw.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2015-07-14
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-11-08
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 pictum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Abutilon pictum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales