Abutilon vitifolium – Vine Leaved Abutilon

Yet another summer flowering shrub that is flowering at the moment.  Well I say at the moment what I mean is last week as I wasn’t at work today to guard it.  Today the weather changed dramatically with severe hailstorms which certainly could have removed this lone delicate mauve flower.  Abutilon vitifolium comes from Chile where it grows both in coastal regions and inland valleys where it can grow up to 8m in height. It grows quickly and fortunately will take a harsh prune to keep it to a manageable size.  The flowers can be eaten raw, and would look very pretty in a salad, but as we only have one at the moment (perhaps) I think we should leave it in place.  The leaves are grey green and felted and, as its name suggests, vine shaped.  It is also pretty hardy and will apparently survive -10C, last winter had little ill effect on it.  They are not fussy and are happy in most positions except deep shade and waterlogged sites.  After the arctic winds of today I have a feeling my supply of flower subjects may be coming to an end for this season, we shall see!

On a positive note, today I managed to purchase an unlabelled Witch Hazel for £4.59, a bargain and a surprise to boot!

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