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At home, many kinds and varieties of Abutilon are grown in gardens and greenhouses. Plants are characterized by high growth rate, undemanding and abundant flowering. Due to the shape of the flower-like bells, the abutilon has earned the popular name “Chinese lanterns”, and the three- or five-fingered leaves of the plant gave it a different name - “indoor maple”.
Indeed, some species of abutilon resemble this tree, but in fact have nothing in common except external resemblance. But one more popular name, “Indian mallow”, can be considered the most accurate.
Indoor Maple or Abutilon belongs to the extensive family of Malvaceae, which, besides it, includes hibiscus, stem-rose or mallow, cotton and okra.
In search of the abutilon
homeland, the genus of abutilons unites up to two hundred species, among which there are large perennial shrubs, semi-shrubs and very small herbaceous plants inhabiting different parts of the globe. Where is the home of abutilona?
To give an unambiguous answer, specifying exactly the geographical area or name, in this case it will not work, since one or another kind of abutilon can be found in the tropics and subtropics of North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Moreover, as a decorative and potted crops grow only a small part of the plants.
And some species, for example, Teofrasta abutilon, are valuable crops for technical use in China. Strong natural fiber, traditionally used for the manufacture of ropes, mats, coarse fabrics and other goods, is obtained from dried stems in the abutilon's homeland of this species. Therefore, another well-known throughout the world name, "Kantik", abutilon received quite a wonder.
The genus received its official name in the 18th century, and the word “abutilon” came from Latin in Arabic. Abu-tilun, according to legend, gave the name to the genus Avicenna, describing the healing properties of local plant species.
Indoor Maple: Abutilon wild and home
In the home environment today, hybrid plants are most often grown. They are more compact than their wild relatives, they bloom more abundantly and longer, are easier to form and do not require special care.
Meanwhile, in nature, many species of indoor maple or abutilon resemble a tree not only in the form of foliage, but also in size. Varieties from Southern China, Australia and Brazil are tall, up to three meters, shrubs, in native conditions for the tropics of the tropics or subtropics, wintering and blooming beautifully. In the middle lane, a thermophilic plant survives only in a greenhouse, a winter garden, or in a pot culture.
All members of the genus are characterized by the presence of heart-shaped or lobed foliage, covered with a gray, rather rigid felt. The peculiarities of the Abutolon indoor maple include single or paired flowers that form in the leaf axils and delight the grower from early spring to mid-October. The corollas of five petals joined at the base can reach 4 to 7 centimeters in diameter. And depending on the type and variety of the plant, the shape of the flower can be bell-shaped or wider, cup-shaped.
Flowers of wild plants are more often painted in yellow, orange or pink tones. And modern cultural varieties and hybrids of indoor maple or abutilona amaze with an abundance of shades, from snow-white to dense burgundy. There are today and terry varieties.
Abutilon: is the plant poisonous?
Many houseplants, coming from tropical regions of the planet, can be potentially dangerous because their tissues contain toxic or corrosive substances.
When planting an abutilon or indoor maple, a florist can be absolutely sure that the plant will not harm even if children or pets show interest in velvet leaves or bright colors.
Abutilon is not poisonous and, in addition, has a number of useful properties for humans, used by folk and official medicine. In the homeland of abutilona, where the plant has been widely distributed and known to people for many centuries, its leaves, bark, flowers and seeds are used in the treatment of various ailments.
For example, in the Philippines, a decoction of the leaves of wild shrubs is used to cleanse wounds and ulcers. This tool has a soothing and calming effect, helps to relieve symptoms of fever and cold.
In the tropics, where people until recently were faced with the risk of contracting malaria, plant materials from abutilon went to the preparation of drugs and from this dangerous disease.
The bark of indoor maple abutilon has astringent and diuretic effects, while the seeds and leaves have laxative, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties.
In China, the foliage of abutilon is warmed, and then given to patients with tuberculosis suffering from urticaria, edema, and inflammation of the internal organs. This broth is washed with long non-healing wounds and ulcers, used for stomatitis and teething in children.
In India, remedies based on the green parts of abutilon are used for cough and fever, hemorrhoids, diabetes mellitus and diarrhea, furunculosis and purulent skin rashes. Compresses of crushed flowers and leaves - a folk remedy for burns and wounds on the surface of the skin. The seeds of abutilona in the homeland of the plant are burned to smoke the child infested with worms.
Similar uses of greens, flowers, bark and roots of abutilon exist in other areas of Indochina, which could not but interest scientists. To a large extent, all the useful properties of the cannon found confirmation.
Today, some species of wild-growing abutilon have received the status of medicinal plants with analgesic, anthelmintic, astringent, sedative, diuretic, expectorant and laxative effects.
Studies have shown that plant tissues contain substances that can act as immunomodulators, antioxidants and hepatoprotectors. Abutilon can be considered a natural antimicrobial, antimalarial, analgesic and antiinflammatory agent.
Abutilon: the energy of the plant
Unfortunately, the study of the healing properties of the plant did not affect the indoor maple, the hybrid substitute, which today is a popular home culture. But the beauty of this small shrub is already carrying a positive charge and is capable of lifting people’s mood.
The energy of an abutilon plant is so positive that a green pet, blooming on a window sill, is capable of relieving stress, dispelling sad thoughts and longing, aiming a person at creative accomplishments and good deeds.
Experts are sure that a non-toxic abutilon can be put in the children's room without fear for the health of the baby. This plant is a place in the living room and in other areas where all family members gather.
Abutilon is a plant whose energy helps people to find mutual understanding and not to feel lonely. Therefore, if in the house or in the office “clouds are gathering and a thunderstorm is planned”, it's time to put a pot with a brightly flowering indoor maple in a prominent place.