Ragged mallow (Abutilon pannosum)

GenusAbutilon (1)
SizeHeight: 1 - 3 m (2)

The ragged mallow has not yet been assessed by the IUCN Red List.

The ragged mallow (Abutilon pannosum) is a shrubby herb (3) with erect or spreading stems which branch out from the base. The stems are covered with yellow hairs (4).

The oval or heart-shaped leaves of this tall perennial shrub (2) (4) are velvety on both surfaces and have irregularly toothed edges (2) (3) (4).

The flowers of the ragged mallow are located on the ends of long stalks (4), and are either solitary (2) (4) or found in clusters (4). Each flower has five petals (4) which are approximately two centimetres long (2), and are either yellow (2) (4) or orange with a dark red to purple base (3).

The ragged mallow produces small, rounded fruits which have obvious ridges and furrows (2). Each fruit is densely packed with flat compartments, with one seed per section (4).

The brown (4), hairy (3) (4) seeds of the ragged mallow are usually kidney-shaped (2), and are just 2 to 2.5 millimetres long (2) (3).

The ragged mallow is found in tropical Africa (2), including Djibouti, Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, and across to West Africa and the Cape Verde Islands (3). This species also occurs in Asia (2) (3), where it is found in the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and India. In Pakistan, the ragged mallow is restricted to Sindh (2).

Plantations and other cultivated areas are the preferred habitats of the ragged mallow. This species is also found along roadsides (4).

The ragged mallow is generally found at elevations of between 30 and 100 metres above sea level (3).

The flowering period of the ragged mallow varies depending on location, but in the United Arab Emirates this species is known to flower between January and June (4).

There are currently no known threats to the ragged mallow.

As the ragged mallow is not thought to be at risk of extinction, there are currently no known conservation measures in place for this species.

For more information about conservation in the Emirates:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2012)
  2. Flora of Pakistan - Abutilon pannosum (March, 2012)
  3. JSTOR Plant Science - Abutilon pannosum (April, 2012)
  4. Jongbloed, M.V.D. (2003) The Comprehensive Guide to the Wild Flowers of the United Arab Emirates. Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, Abu Dhabi.