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Glendale Public Library
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden Information Sheet

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Abutilon palmeri-Desert Mallow

If you enjoy touching your plants, you will love Abutilon palmeri! This herbaceous shrub has soft, velvety, heart-shaped leaves that beg to be caressed.  Plant it next to a patio where you can enjoy its soft texture. If ample water is available, Indian mallow can reach a size of 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide.  However, a more common size is about 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. This versatile shrub can be used in full sun and reflected heat exposures, as well as in part shade.  Under shady conditions it tends to have an open, sprawling growth habit, while it stays dense and rounded in full sun. 

Desert mallow blooms on and off throughout the warm months with small, cup-shaped, apricot-colored blossoms. It will experience some foliage and stem damage when temperatures drop into the low 20's F.  It can be cut back hard in early spring to remove damaged foliage.  Desert mallow is native to dry, east facing slopes mainly below 2,500' in the low deserts of California and Arizona.

It will tolerate well the hot dry conditions of the desert southwest while at the same time, with some additional moisture, be rapid.

Webmaster & Author George Hull Last Updated August 10, 2003