Plant Description

Phymosia umbellata

Phymosia umbellata

This unusual shrub is sometimes known as the Mexican bush mallow, and it does come from Mexico! It is quite tall (up to 3 m or more) and it has cranberry-coloured, lantern-shaped blooms in clusters in the axils of the leaves near the tips of the stems. The large, velvety, grape vine-like leaves are quite striking. The whole plant resembles an Abutilon (to which it is related) on steroids. It can be grown as a shrub or trained as a small tree on a single trunk.

It is a frost tender specimen, but if grown under the shelter of tall trees, this may offer some protection. It will grow in sun or part-shade, and benefits from some protection from wind, which can damage the brittle stems. My plant has only just started to bloom in winter - it will be interesting to see how long it continues for, as I have heard that it flowers for a long time. Prune in late winter. Propagation is by cuttings.

 

Phymosia umbellata
Flowers in July.
Plant Family: Malvaceae