Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Abutilon indicum
(country mallow)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Abutilon indicum (country mallow)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 14 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Abutilon indicum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • country mallow
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. indicum is a common weed, found in open, sunny and warm areas, from sea level to ca. 1600 m altitude. It is listed as an invasive mostly in Asia and Oceania (...

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report

Pictures

Top of page
PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); habit. India. August 2016.
TitleHabit
CaptionAbutilon indicum (country mallow); habit. India. August 2016.
Copyright©Vengolis-2016/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); habit. India. August 2016.
HabitAbutilon indicum (country mallow); habit. India. August 2016.©Vengolis-2016/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); flowering habit. August 2016.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionAbutilon indicum (country mallow); flowering habit. August 2016.
Copyright©Vengolis-2016/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); flowering habit. August 2016.
Flowering habitAbutilon indicum (country mallow); flowering habit. August 2016.©Vengolis-2016/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); close-up of flower. August 2016.
TitleFlower
CaptionAbutilon indicum (country mallow); close-up of flower. August 2016.
Copyright©Vengolis-2016/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); close-up of flower. August 2016.
FlowerAbutilon indicum (country mallow); close-up of flower. August 2016.©Vengolis-2016/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); fruiting habit, showing unripe seed pods. India. February 2012.
TitleFruiting habit
CaptionAbutilon indicum (country mallow); fruiting habit, showing unripe seed pods. India. February 2012.
Copyright©V.R. Vinayaraj-2012/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); fruiting habit, showing unripe seed pods. India. February 2012.
Fruiting habitAbutilon indicum (country mallow); fruiting habit, showing unripe seed pods. India. February 2012.©V.R. Vinayaraj-2012/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); fruiting habit, with mature seed pods. India. November 2009.
TitleFruiting habit
CaptionAbutilon indicum (country mallow); fruiting habit, with mature seed pods. India. November 2009.
Copyright©Dinesh Valke/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0
Abutilon indicum (country mallow); fruiting habit, with mature seed pods. India. November 2009.
Fruiting habitAbutilon indicum (country mallow); fruiting habit, with mature seed pods. India. November 2009.©Dinesh Valke/via flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet

Preferred Common Name

  • country mallow

Other Scientific Names

  • Abutilon asiaticum (L.) Sweet
  • Abutilon badium S.A. Husain and Baquar
  • Abutilon cavaleriei H.Lév.
  • Abutilon cysticarpum Hance ex Walp.
  • Abutilon indica
  • Abutilon indicum var. microphyllum Hocr.
  • Abutilon indicum var. populifolium (Lam.) Wight and Arn.
  • Abutilon indicum var. populifolium Wight and Arn. ex Mast
  • Abutilon populifolium (Lam.) G.Don
  • Abutilon populifolium (Lam.) Sweet
  • Sida asiatica L.
  • Sida indica L.
  • Sida populiflora Lam.

International Common Names

  • English: Indian abutilon; Indian mallow; monkey bush; moon-flower
  • Spanish: Malva amarilla
  • French: fausse guimauve; gimauve; guimauve fausse satinee; herbe de douze heures; mauve du pays
  • Chinese: mo pan cao

Local Common Names

  • Cambodia: dok toc lai
  • Cuba: botón de oro; botoncillo de oro; buenas tardes; doce del día; malva blanca
  • Germany: Indische Schoenmalve
  • Haiti: mauve élantine
  • India: atibala; duvvena Kayalu; kanghi; kattooram; ooram; paniyaratutti; petari; potari; soluku poo; thuthi; tutththi gida; tutti; tuturabenda; velluram
  • Indonesia: belangan sumpa; cemplok; kecil
  • Italy: fiore di dodici ore
  • Laos: houk phao ton
  • Lesser Antilles: guimauve; mauve; monkey bush
  • Malaysia: bunga kisar; kembang lohor
  • Montserrat: burry bark
  • Philippines: dalupang; tabing
  • Puerto Rico: buenas tardes
  • Thailand: khrop fan see; ma kong khaao; phong phaang
  • Vietnam: coosi xay; dawfng xay

EPPO code

  • ABUIN (Abutilon indicum)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

A. indicum is a common weed, found in open, sunny and warm areas, from sea level to ca. 1600 m altitude. It is listed as an invasive mostly in Asia and Oceania (PIER, 2015; PROTA, 2015). It is not considered a threat at high elevations (PIER, 2015). The species is used widely in its native range as a traditional medicinal plant (Mohite et al, 2012; Vadnere Gautam et al., 2013), and was probably introduced for cultivation outside its native range for medicinal purposes. For some of the countries where it is reported as invasive, it is also listed as cultivated, making it probable that the species escaped from cultivation into suitable habitats, as it is listed as found in disturbed areas near dwellings and roadsides (PIER, 2015). No published details are available about the extent of invasiveness or the impacts of the species in the regions where it is reported as invasive. 

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Malvales
  •                         Family: Malvaceae
  •                             Genus: Abutilon
  •                                 Species: Abutilon indicum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

Abutilon is a genus of herbs, subshrubs, shrubs, or small trees of about 200 species, mostly in tropical and subtropical regions (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015). The common names for Abutilon indicum that are most used are country mallow, and for India Kanghi (Hindi) and Atibala (Sanskrit). The species may be truly native to India (PROTA, 2015), hence another widely used name of Indian mallow or Indian abutilon.

Description

Top of page

The following description is from Flora of China Editorial Committee (2015):

Herbs to subshrubs, annual or perennial, erect, many branched, 1-2.5 m, entire plant gray puberulent. Stipules subulate, 1-2 mm, curved outward; petiole 2-4 cm, gray puberulent and sparsely hairy, hairs silky, ca. 1 mm; leaf blades ovate-orbicular or nearly orbicular, 3-9 × 2.5-7 cm, densely gray stellate puberulent, base cordate, margin irregularly serrate, apex acute or acuminate. Flowers solitary, axillary, 2-2.5 cm in diam. Pedicel ca. 4 cm, articulate near apex, gray stellate puberulent. Calyx green, disk-shaped, 6-10 mm in diam., densely gray puberulent, lobes 5, broadly ovate, apex acute. Corolla uniformly yellow; petals 7-8 mm. Staminal column stellate scabrous. Ovary 15-20-loculed. Fruit black, flat topped, ca. 1.5 cm in diam.; mericarps 15-20, apex acute, slightly awned, long stellate scabrous. Seeds reniform, sparsely stellate.

Plant Type

Top of page Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Woody

Distribution

Top of page

A. indicum is distributed mainly in the tropics, subtropics and into warm temperate areas of the New and Old Worlds; from sea level to about 1600 m elevation (PROTA, 2015). It is reported to be native to Africa, Asia and Australasia, although it has been argued to be truly native only to Asia (PROTA, 2015). It has also been reported to be native in some countries of the New World (Esteves and Takeuchi, 2015; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015; USDA-NRCS, 2015). 

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanPresentNativePROTA, 2015
BangladeshPresentHanif et al., 2009Chittagong Hills Tracts Region
BhutanPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015; PROTA, 2015
CambodiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993; PIER, 2015
Chagos ArchipelagoPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015Diego Garcia Island (also listed as cultivated)
ChinaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015
-FujianPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015
-GuangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015
-GuizhouPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015
-HainanPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
-Hong KongPresentNativePROTA, 2015
-JiangsuPresentNativePROTA, 2015
-JiangxiPresentNativePROTA, 2015
-SichuanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015
-TianjinPresentNativePROTA, 2015
-YunnanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentNativeFosberg, 1943; PROTA, 2015Reported by Ridley in 1891
Cocos IslandsPresentNativePROTA, 2015Keeling
IndiaPresentNativeRajwar, 1984
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNativeDagar and Dagar, 1991
-Indian PunjabPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015Weed of cultivable lands and orchards
-MaharashtraPresentDeccan College Research Institute, 1988-89Pune
-RajasthanPresentSharma, 1981
IndonesiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993; PROTA, 2015
-JavaPresentNativePROTA, 2015
-Nusa TenggaraPresentNativePROTA, 2015
-SulawesiPresentNativePROTA, 2015
IraqPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2015
IsraelPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2015
JapanPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands; rasoko, Mikayo
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentNativePROTA, 2015Nansei Soto
JordanPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2015
LaosPresentWaterhouse, 1993; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015
MalaysiaPresentNativeCurtis, 1894Dwarf shrub. Open places near the coast.
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNativeHenderson, 1939
-SabahPresentNativePROTA, 2015
MaldivesLocalisedNative Not invasive PIER, 2015Malè Atoll (Occasional in coconut plantation)
MyanmarPresentWaterhouse, 1993; PROTA, 2015
NepalPresentNativePROTA, 2015
OmanPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2015
PakistanLocalisedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015; PROTA, 2015Common in Sindh and Punjab, rare in N.W.F.P
PhilippinesPresentWaterhouse, 1993; PIER, 2015
Saudi ArabiaPresentNative Not invasive PROTA, 2015
SingaporePresent Invasive PIER, 2015Uncertain if introduced
Sri LankaPresentNativePROTA, 2015
TaiwanPresentNativePIER, 2015
ThailandPresentWaterhouse, 1993; PIER, 2015
VietnamPresentWaterhouse, 1993; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015
YemenPresentNativePROTA, 2015

Africa

AngolaPresentNativeFlora Zambesiaca, 2015
ComorosPresentNativePROTA, 2015
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2015
EthiopiaPresentCufodontis, 1959
MadagascarPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015Toliara, Anosy; Réserve Naturelle Intégrale d'Andohahela Androy, Road from Ambovombe to Tsiombe
MalawiPresentFlora Zambesiaca, 2015
MauritiusPresentNativePROTA, 2015
MozambiqueFlora Zambesiaca, 2015Gaza, Chibuto, between Maniquenique and Licilo; Sabie, Moamba; Chemba
RéunionPresentNativePROTA, 2015
Rodriguez IslandPresentNativeBalfour, 1879Common weed
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentNativeFlora Zambesiaca, 2015
SeychellesPresentNativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 1983; PIER, 2015; PROTA, 2015
South AfricaPresentNativeFlora Zambesiaca, 2015Transvaal; Zululand
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedMoreau and Moreau, 1931Open bush formation that apparently established itself after being used for cultivation
UgandaPresentNativePROTA, 2015
ZimbabwePresentFlora Zambesiaca, 2015Lower Sabi; West Nicholson

North America

MexicoPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Yucatán, Izamal
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-CaliforniaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015Oahu. As cultivated, occasionally naturalized
-TexasPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2015Matagorda County; Zapata County

Central America and Caribbean

AnguillaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
Antigua and BarbudaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Antigua
BahamasPresentIntroduced1903Harshberger, 1903Great Inagua: Mattewtown
BarbadosPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
British Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Tortola
CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015
DominicaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
GrenadaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Marie Galant Grande-Terre. St. François, on the way to Pointe des Châteauxe
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
JamaicaPresentIntroducedPrevious to 1891Lagereim, 1891
MartiniquePresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
MontserratPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
Netherlands AntillesPresentIntroducedUPPRP, 2016St. Eustatius. Disturbed areas
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012; PROTA, 2015; USDA-NRCS, 2015
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 1983
Sint EustatiusPresentIntroducedUPPRP, 2016
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroduced1819Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015
Turks and Caicos IslandsPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
United States Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015; USDA-NRCS, 2015St. Thomas

South America

BrazilPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
-AmazonasPresentNativeEsteves and Takeuchi, 2015Reported as native, endemic based on Flora of Brazil from 1891
French GuianaPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2015
PeruPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015; PROTA, 2015Cusco, disturbed areas.
SurinamePresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015

Oceania

AustraliaPresentNativeChaluopka and Domm, 1986Present on all Coral Cays
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentNativePIER, 2015; PROTA, 2015
-QueenslandPresentNativePIER, 2015
-Western AustraliaPresentNativePROTA, 2015
Cook IslandsPresentPIER, 2015Manihiki Atoll; Pukapuka Atoll
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015; PROTA, 2015Introduced and invasive on Vanua Mbalavu Island
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015Tahiti Island (also reported as cultivated); Rangiroa (Rairoa) Atoll; Toau (Tovau) Atoll; Ruturu Island
GuamPresentIntroduced1902 Invasive PIER, 2015Reported by Safford in 1902
KiribatiPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015Banaba (Ocean) Island; Kiritimati (Christmas) Atoll (as invasive); Tarawa Atoll
Marshall IslandsPresentPIER, 2015Jaluit (Jãlwõj) Atoll
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015Yap (Waqab) Island
NauruPresentNativePIER, 2015; PROTA, 2015
New CaledoniaPresentNativePROTA, 2015Loyalty Islands
NiuePresentNativePROTA, 2015
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015Listed as native for Farallon de Medinilla (Marpi Medinilla) Island; as introduced on: Maug Island, Rota Island, Saipan Island, Sarigan Island and Tinian Island
PalauPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015Listed as introduced on the main island group; Sonsorol Island
Papua New GuineaPresentNativePROTA, 2015
SamoaPresentNativePROTA, 2015
US Minor Outlying IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015Barker Island; Jarvis Island
VanuatuPresentNativePROTA, 2015

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

A. indicum was probably introduced into the Americas in the 1800’s or early 1900’s (Lagerheim, 1891; Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, 1893; Hasherger 1903; Arthur and Johnston, 1918; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015), although it is sometimes listed as native for some of the countries of this region. For the West Indies it is reported as introduced in the early 1800’s, but in some databases is also reported as native for some of the islands. It is reported as invasive for Cuba (Oviedo-Prieto et al., 2012). The region where A. indicum is most listed as an invasive is Oceania, on Kiribati, Guam, French Polynesia, the US Minor Outlying Islands and Fiji. For some of these islands the species is also reported as cultivated. Although it is reported as invasive for Hawaii, it is noted as mainly cultivated and occasionally naturalized (PIER, 2015).

There is almost no information available on how A. indicum was introduced to various regions or how it has spread. Since it has been used extensively in ethnobotany for centuries in its native range, it can be assumed it was mainly introduced into other areas as a medicinal plant, as it is reported to be used by natives in countries outside its probable original range (Mitchell, 1982; Mohite et al., 2013; PIER 2015). Also outside its native range, there are reports of the use of its fibres for rope-making (Maiti and Chakravarty, 1977; Fuentes Fiallo, 1999; Brussell, 2004). 

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

The species is sold over the internet and in nurseries as an ornamental. Although there is almost no documented information on the impact of A. indicum at introduced sites, caution should be exerted until more information is available on the invasiveness of the species.

Habitat

Top of page

A. indicum is found in open, ruderal places in the tropics and subtropics. Reported from roadsides, low bushes, savannas, lakesides, beaches, dunes and roadsides (PROTA, 2015). It is reported near dwellings, disturbed sites and roadsides in some of the countries where it is listed as invasive (Mohite et al., 2013; PIER 2015). Tolerates droughts (PROTA, 2015) and saline environments (Allaway et al., 1984). 

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page

Leaf residue extracts of A. indicum have been evaluated for their effect on the germination and growth of the wheat cultivars, Sind-81, Sind-83 and Sarsabz, and chickpea cv. CM-72. The extracts did not inhibit germination, but stimulated the shoot length of all the cultivars. Root inhibition was found for all, except Sind-81 and chickpea (Alam and Azmi, 1990). 

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

Genetics

The IPCN reports vary from 2n=72, 42 or 36 and n=21 (PROTA, 2015).

Reproductive Biology

The following information is from Abid et al. (2010): A. indicum is facultatively autogamous and the flowers are slightly protandrous. Buds take about 18-20 days to open. Flowering is temperature and light dependent, anthesis occurring at 25-30°C and at 1-2:00 pm; on cloudy days opening at 4:00 pm. Flowers remain open for about 6-7 hours, withering after 2 to 5 days. Butterflies (Lepidoptera) and bees (Hymenoptera) are the regular flower visitors. Butterflies do not take any part in pollination; Apis sp. and Bembix sp. have been reported as pollinators.

Physiology and Phenology

Flowering can occur all year (PROTA, 2015). Temperatures below 20°C or higher than 40°C have a negative impact on pollen production and its viability; also on fruit and seed set (Kumar et al., 2012).

Gupta et al. (2001) report that freshly harvested seeds show over 92% of hardseededness in germination experiments and that a hot water treatment at 70°C for 10 minutes is the most effective method for breaking it. Seeds from exhibition cases in a museum in India had 70% germination after 17 years of storage. Seeds were soaked in cold water and filed prior to germination tests (Dent, 1942). These seeds were stored in glass capsules without any special conservation measures.

Associations

A. indicum is reported as a plant host of the fungus Puccinia heterospora, which attacks species of Sida and Abutilon in tropical and subtropical regions (Lagerheim, 1891; Arthur and Johnston, 1918). 

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Tolerated > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 7
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 43
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 10

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light

Special soil tolerances

  • saline

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aularches miliaris Herbivore Leaves not specific
Dysdercus koenigii Herbivore not specific
Dysdercus nigrofasciatus Herbivore Fruits/pods not specific
Earias insulana Herbivore Fruits/pods/Leaves not specific
Earias vittella Herbivore Fruits/pods/Inflorescence not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

A. indicum is one of the host plants for the moths Earias insulana and E. vitella, which are considered as pests of cotton and okra plants (Saini and Singh, 1999; Syed et al., 2011). The species is reported to become heavily infested by mealybugs (Coccidohystrix sp.) in India (Hayat et al. 2007). Hexomyza abutilonicaulis, Urentius euonymus and Trachys herillus are reported in Pakistan as natural insect enemies of the genus Abutilon (Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control Pakistan Station, 1980; Pajni and Nanda, 1992)

Pathway Causes

Top of page
CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Breeding and propagationIn vitro propagation, for reintroduction to areas in India where is over-harvested Yes Rout et al., 2009
DisturbanceCommon weed in disturbed sites Yes PROTA, 2015
Escape from confinement or garden escapePossibly escaping from cultivation and becoming naturalized Yes Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015; PIER, 2015
Internet salesSeeds available for sale at various sites that will ship locally or internationally Yes Yes
Medicinal useUsed for traditional medicine in various countries Yes Pandikumar et al., 2011; Rout et al., 2009
Ornamental purposesSold an ornamental plant on Internet and nurseries Yes Yes
Seed trade Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
GermplasmPlants propagated in vitro for reintroduction purposes Yes Yes Rout et al., 2009

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive

Economic Impact

Top of page

In India, A. indicum is one of the hosts for the red cotton bug, Dysdercus koeniggii, which is considered to be a minor pest on cotton, eggplant, okra and Hibiscus (Wadnerkar et al., 1979). A. indicum plants infested with Earias insulana and E. vitella near cotton fields could carry the infestation into the crops (Saini and Singh, 1999; Syed et al., 2011).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Pest and disease transmission

Uses

Top of page

Mohite et al. (2012) and Vadnere Gautam et al. (2013) give detailed reviews on the microscopic, phytochemical and pharmacological properties and uses of A. indicum. This includes: hepatoprotective, wound healing, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antimalarial, antimicrobial and hypoglycemic activity, among others. Almost all the parts of this plant are documented as being used. It is used by natives of India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indochina. In India it is also reported as used by the Santals tribe to treat convulsions, cramps, colic pain, spermatorrhoea, dysentery, tuberculosis, coughs, bronchitis and menorrhagia in humans and bone fracture in cattle (Jain and Tarafder, 1970). Similar uses are reported for the Nicobarese tribe in India (Dagar and Dagar, 1991). Mathur and Sundaramoorthy (2013) report 18 pharmacological properties and nine body systems treated by the use of this species. Seetharam et al. (2002) report that extracts from A. indicum administered to rats stimulate insulin production causing blood glucose levels to drop. Men in Gujrat, India use the species as an aphrodisiac (Prabhuji et al., 2010). A. indicum is one of the sources of the drug “Bala”, sold in markets in India and used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine to treat various ailments (Deokule and Patale, 2002).

Due to its importance as a medicinal plant in India, studies had been made on A. indicum to establish the protocols for regenerating large number of plantlets in vitro from leaf derived callus cultures. These protocols are the first steps to establish large scale propagation of this species (Rout et al., 2009). In Pakistan, where rearing livestock accounts for 30-40% of income, A. indicum is one of the native species suggested for planting and/or reseeding to improve grazing lands for goats and sheep (Rafiq et al., 2010).

In Australia, A. indicum is used as food, timber and reported to have demulcent properties (Mitchell, 1982). It is also used for its fibres in various countries (Maiti and Chakravarty, 1977; Fuentes Fiallo, 1999; Brussell, 2004).

A. indicum has been studied for the development of botanical pesticides and extracts from the leaves are a feeding deterrent to the tomato fruit borer, Helicoverpa armigera (Elumalai et al., 2008). Prabhuji et al. (2010) report a steroidal compound isolated from the stems of A. indicum with fungicidal and fungistatic properties against various Aspergillus species.

Mathur and Sundaramoorthy (2013) assessed the economic impact and conservation priorities of 123 medicinal plants from the Thar Desert in India. For A. indicum they reported the species not being in cultivation and being highly harvested from the wild due to its medicinal importance. They propose that the species needs to have an immediate conservation priority.

Social Benefit

In India where fluoride contamination related diseases occur in near to 62 million people, A. indicum stems are used to prepare nitric acid activated carbon to remove fluoride ions from contaminated water (Suneetha et al., 2014).

Environmental Services

A. indicum has been suggested as a potential candidate species to be used for the phytoremediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils (Varum et al., 2015).

A. indicum is reported as one of the plants which the nymphs of Aularches miliaris feed on. Although this grasshopper is reported as a pest for some crops, it is also listed as a near-threatened species in South India and its conservation is recommended (Josephrajkimar et al., 2011).

Rahuman et al. (2008) tested the larvicidal activity on Culex quinquefasciatus and found high larval mortality when using petroleum ether extract from A. indicum. They also report the presence of β-sitosterol for A. indicum as a new natural mosquito larvicidal agent. Hexane leaf extracts are reported to be effective against the larvae of Aedes aegypti (Tennyson et al., 2012). Previous studies in Thailand showed that A. indicum extracts show potential larval toxicity for Aedes aegyptii and high toxicity to guppy fishes (Promsiri et al., 2006).

Uses List

Top of page

Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Forage

General

  • Research model
  • Ritual uses
  • Sociocultural value

Genetic importance

  • Test organisms (for pests and diseases)

Human food and beverage

  • Beverage base
  • Fruits
  • Leaves (for beverage)
  • Seeds

Materials

  • Bark products
  • Beads
  • Chemicals
  • Fibre
  • Gums
  • Oils
  • Pesticide
  • Resins
  • Wood/timber

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore
  • Veterinary

Ornamental

  • Propagation material
  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page

A. indicum, A. abutiloides and A. hirtum are all found in similar habitats and have similar growth forms. Abutilon abutiloides has 5-7 mericarps (segments in the fruit), while A. hirtum and A. indicum have 15-25 mericarps. A. hirtum has an orange corolla with a purple centre, while A. indicum has a uniformly yellow corolla (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015). 

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Cultural Control

Musthafa and Potty (2001) studied the effect of cowpea green manures to control weeds, including A. indicum in semi-dry rice fields. Broadleaf weeds, including A. indicum, were reduced because of the smothering effect of the cowpea.

Chemical Control

The herbicide pendimenthalin, supplemented with hand weeding 6 weeks after seed sowing in rice fields has been effective in controlling A. indicum (Shelke et al., 1986). High doses of the herbicides MCPA, 2,4-D and 2,4-DB are effective for the eradication of the species; however, plants persisting in low populations have an increase in the reproductive potential with a higher flower and fruit production (Mukherjee, 1993).
 

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

Top of page

Most of the information available on A. indicum is related to its pharmacological properties, its phytochemistry or the ethnobotanical uses. Although literature reports it as a weed and/or as invasive for some countries or regions, not much information is available about its negative impacts. No information is available on the impacts on the native species or the habitats where it is reported as invasive. On the contrary, it is reported as being threatened because it is over-harvested in some countries. There is also conflicting information about it being native or introduced for some countries, as it is listed as both in different sources for a country. Information about the environmental requirements, reproductive biology, habitats and impacts is scarce or lacking, and needed for a thoughtful evaluation of the invasiveness of the species. 

References

Top of page

Abdul Rahuman A; Geetha Gopalakrishnan; Venkatesan P; Kannappan Geetha, 2008. Isolation and identification of mosquito larvicidal compound from Abutilon indicum (Linn.) sweet. Parasitology Research, 102(5):981-988. http://www.springerlink.com/content/l8071n6511088010/?p=63b2c8d62c8343f2a45616df0eb09e0d&pi=22

Acevedo-Rodríguez P; Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Alam SM; Azmi AR, 1990. Influence of wild plant residue (Abutilon indicum L.) on the germination and seedling growth of wheat and chickpea. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture, 6(4):385-387.

Allaway WG; Pitman MG; Storey R; Tyerman S; Ashford AE, 1984. Water relations of coral cay vegetation on the Great Barrier Reef: water potentials and osmotic content. Australian Journal of Botany, 32(4):449-464.

Arthur JT; Johnston JR, 1918. Uredinales of Cuba. Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club, 17:97-175.

Balfour B, 1879. Flowering plants and ferns. An Account of the Petrological, Botanical, and Zoological Collections Made in Kerguelen's Land and Rodriguez during the Transit of Venus Expeditions, Carried out by Order of Her Majesty's Government in the Years 1874-75. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 168:326-387.

Broome R; Sabir K; Carrington S, 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. Barbados: University of the West Indies. http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

Brussell DE, 2004. A medicinal plant collection from Montserrat, West Indies. Economic Botany, 58(suppl.):s203-s220.

Chaluopka MY; Domm SB, 1986. Role of anthropochory in the invasion of Coral Cays by alien flora. Ecology, 67(6):1536-1547.

Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control Pakistan Station, 1980. Investigations on the insect enemies of Abutilon, Rumex and Sorghum in Pakistan 1978-1979. Report, Pakistan Station, Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control. 19 pp.

Cufodontis G, 1959. Supplement: Enumeratio Plantarum Aethiopiae Spermatopyta (Sequentia). Bulletin du Jardin botanue del l"Etat a Bruxelles, 29(1):533-584.

Curtis C, 1894. A catalogue of the flowering plants and ferns found growing wild in the Island of Penang. Journal of the Straits Branch if the Royal Asiatic Society, 25:67-167.

Dagar HS; Dagar JC, 1991. Plant folk medicines among the Nicobarese of Katchal Island, India. Economic Botany, 45(1):114-119.

Deccan College Research Institute, 1988-89. Archeology of a vacant land in Poona: an experimental study. Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute, 47/48:249-275.

Dent TV, 1942. Some records of extreme longevity of seeds of Indian forest plants. Indian Forester, 68:617-31.

Deokule SS; Patale MW, 2002. Pharmacognostic study of Abutilon indicum, (L.) Sweet. Journal of Phytological Research, 15(1):1-6.

Elumalai K; Dhanasekaran S; Veeraiyan G; Meenakshi V, 2008. Feeding deterrent activity of certain plant extracts against the fruit borer, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner). Journal of Applied Zoological Researches, 19(2):133-138.

Esteves G; Takeuchi C, 2015. Abutilon in Lista de Espécies fa Flora do Brasil (Abutilon in the list of species of the flora of Brazil). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB106882

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Flora Zambesiaca, 2015. Flora Zambesiaca online (eFloras). Richmond, Surrey, UK: Kew Databases. http://apps.kew.org/efloras/search.do

Fosberg FR, 1943. Notes on plants of the Pacific Islands-III. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 70(4):386-397.

Fuentes Fiallo VR, 1999. Notes on the economic flora of Cuba. I. Fibre producing species. (Apuntes para la flora económica de Cuba I. Especies productoras de fibras.) Revista del Jardín Botánico Nacional, 20:57-82.

Hanif A; Hossan S; Mia MK; Islam MJ; Jahan R; Rahmatullah M, 2009. Ethnobotanical survey of the Rakhain tribe inhabiting the Chittagong Hills Tracts region of Bangladesh. American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 3(2):172-180.

Harshberger JW, 1903. Notes on the strand flora of Great Inagua, Haiti and Jamaica. Torreya, 3(5):67-70.

Henderson MR, 1939. The flora of the limestone hills of the Malay Peninsula. J. Malay. Br. Asiat. Soc, 17(1):13-87.

India Biodiversity Portal, 2016. Online Portal of India Biodiversity. http://indiabiodiversity.org/species/list

Jain SK; Tarafder CR, 1970. Medicinal plant-lore of the Santals: (A revival of P. Bodding's work). Economic Botany, 24(3):241-278.

Josephrajkumar A; Rajan P; Mohanan RC; Jacob PM, 2011. Management and conservation dilemmas surrounding a near-threatened grasshopper, Aularches miliaris Linn. (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) in south India. Journal of Orthoptera Research, 20(1):103-107. http://www.bioone.org/loi/orth

Kumar P; Chauhan S; Rana A, 2012. Impact of temperature on reproductive biology of Abutilon indicum (L,) Sweet (Malvaceae). The International Journal of Plant Reproduction Biology, 4(2):127-131.

Lagereim G, 1891. Observations on new species of fungi from North and South America. The Journal of Mycology, 7(1):44-50.

Liogier AH, 1994. Descriptive flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands, Vol. III. Río Piedras, Puerto Rico: Universidad de Puerto Rico, 461 pp.

Maiti RK; Chakravarty K, 1977. A comparative study of yield components and quality of common Indian bast fibres. Economic Botany, 31(1):55-60.

Manish Mathur; Sundaramoorthy S, 2013. Economic assessment and conservation priorities of the Indian Thar desert medicinal plants. Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, 4(3):283-294. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/handle/123456789/54

Mayank Varun; Disha Jaggi; D'Souza R; Paul MS; Bhumesh Kumar, 2015. Abutilon indicum L.: a prospective weed for phytoremediation. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 187(8):527. http://rd.springer.com/journal/10661

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

Mitchell AS, 1982. Economic aspects of the Malvaceae in Australia. Economic Botany, 36(3):313-322.

Mohammad Hayat; Badrudding SMA; Khan FR, 2007. On some chalcids reared from a mealybug infesting Abutilon Indicum in Aligarh, U.P. Bionotes, 9(2):65.

Mohite MS; Shelar PA; Raje VN; Babar SJ; Sapkal RK, 2012. Review on pharmacological properties of Abutilon indicum. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 2(4):156-160. http://asianpharmaonline.org/AJPR/8_AJPR_2_4_2012.pdf

Moreau RE; Moreau WM, 1931. The bird population of a settled valley in the West Usambaras, Tanganyika Territory. Journal of Ecology, 19(1):64-74.

Mukherjee A, 1993/1994. Effect of certain phenoxy herbicides on mortality, growth and seed output of Abutilon indicum (L.) Sw. Acta Botanica Hungarica, 38(1/4):335-343.

Musthafa K; Potty NN, 2001. Effect of in situ green manuring on weeds in rice. Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 39(2):172-174; 13 ref.

Oviedo Prieto R; Herrera Oliver P; Caluff MG, et al. , 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 6(Special Issue 1):22-96.

Pajni HR; Nanda N, 1992. Some observations of the biology of Acallopistus species (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Abutilon indicum. Journal of The Bombay Natural History Society, 89(3):388-389.

Pandikumar P; Chellappandian M; Mutheeswaran S; Ignacimuthu S, 2011. Consensus of local knowledge on medicinal plants among traditional healers in Mayiladumparai block of Theni District, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 134(2):354-362. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T8D-51TGG3X-1&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F24%2F2011&_rdoc=23&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_origin=browse&_zone=rslt_list_item&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%235084%232011%23998659997%233001751%23FLA%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=5084&_sort=d&_docanchor=&_ct=44&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=6b321cca0de8d8b54be5a2c745e8b3f0&searchtype=a

PIER, 2015. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Prabhuji SK; Singh DK; Srivastava AK; Rahul Sinha, 2010. Antifungal activity of a new steroid isolated from Abutilon indicum (L.) Sw. Medicinal Plants - International Journal of Phytomedicines and Related Industries, 2(3):215-218. http://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:mpijpri&volume=2&issue=3&article=007

Promsiri S; Naksathhhit A; Kruatrachue M; Thavara U, 2006. Evaluations of larvicidal activitiy of medicinal plant extracts to Aedes aegypti (Diptera:Culicidae) and other effects on a non target fish. Insect Science, 13:179-188.

PROTA, 2015. PROTA4U web database. Grubben GJH, Denton OA, eds. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. http://www.prota4u.info

Rafiq MK; Javed Afzal; Jasra AW; Imtiaz Ahmad; Khan TN; Farooq MU, 2010. Foraging preferences of free-ranging sheep and goats on the native vegetation of Rangelands of Pubbi hills in Pakistan. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 12(6):944-946. http://www.fspublishers.org/ijab/past-issues/IJABVOL_12_NO_6/28.pdf

Rajwar GS, 1984. A note on phytogeographical analysis of the flora of the Garhwal Siwalik Hills, India. Journal of Biogeography, 11(3):261-264.

Ridley HN, 1891. A day at Christmas Island. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 23:123-140.

Rout JR; Mishra M; Das R; Sahoo SL, 2009. In vitro micropropagation of Abutilon indicum L. through leaf explants. Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology, 19(2):177-184.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 1983. Flora of St. Vincent and adjacent Islets. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, 81:231-296.

Royal Gardens Kew, 1894. Flora of Aldabra Islands. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, 89:146-151.

Royal Gardens Kew, 1984. Botany of the Hadramaut Expedition. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, 93. 328-343.

Rubina Abid; Jan Alam; Qaiser M, 2010. Pollination mechanism and role of insects in Abutilon indicum (L.) sweet. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 42(3):1395-1399. http://www.pakbs.org/pjbot/PDFs/42(3)/PJB42(3)1395.pdf

Safford WE, 1902. Extracts from the note-book of a naturalist on the island of Guam-I. The Plant World, 5(9):161-168.

Safford WE, 1912. Notes of a naturalist afloat: V. American Fern Journal, 2(4):97-107.

Saini RK; Ram Singh, 1999. Host plant preference for oviposition by the spiny bollworm Earias insulana Boisd. (Lep., Noctuidae). Journal of Applied Entomology, 123(4):241-245.

Seetharam YN; Gururaj Chalageri; Setty SR; Bheemachar, 2002. Hypoglycemic activity of Abutilon indicum leaf extracts in rats. Fitoterapia, 73(2):156-159.

Sharma BM, 1981. A phytosociological study of a weed community in fallow land in the semi-arid zone of India. Weed Science, 29(3):287-291.

Shelke DK; Bhosle RH; Jadhav NS, 1986. Integrated weed management in upland irrigated rice in Marathwada. International Rice Research Newsletter, 11(4):39-40.

Snead RE; Tasnif M, 1966. Vegetation types in the Las Bela region of West Pakistan. Ecology, 47(3):494-499.

Suneetha M; Sundar BS; Ravindhranath K, 2014. Studies on fluoride removal from polluted waters using active carbon derived from stems of Abutilon indicum plant. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 6(10):574-592. http://jocpr.com/vol6-iss10-2014/JCPR-2014-6-10-574-592.pdf

Syed TS; Abro GH; Khanum A; Sattar M, 2011. Effect of host plants on the biology of Earias vittella (Fab) (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera) under laboratory conditions. Pakistan Journal of Zoology, 43(1):127-132.

Tennyson S; Ravindran KJ; Arivoli S, 2012. Bioefficacy of botanical insecticides against the dengue and chikungunya vector Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera:Culicidae). Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 2(3, Supplement):S1842-S1844.

UPPRP, 2016. UPPRP Herbarium database. http://herbario.uprrp.edu/

USDA-ARS, 2015. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2015. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Vadnere Gautam P; Pathan Aslam R; Kulkarni Bharti U, 2013. Abutilons indicum Linn: a phytopharmacological review. International Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Chemistry, 3(1):153-156.

Veena Gupta; Anjali Kak; Vivek Mitter; Singh BB, 2001. Techniques to remove hard seededness in the wild medicinal plant Abutilon indicum. Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences, 23(3):369-371.

Wadnerkar DW; Gaikawad BB; Thombre UT, 1979. New record of an alternate host plant of red cotton bug, Dysdercus koenigii (Fab.). Indian Journal of Entomology, 41(2):185.

Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.

Yoneyama T; Muraoka T; Kim TH; Dacanay EV; Nakanishi Y, 1997. The natural 15N abundance of sugarcane and neigbouring plants in Brazil, the Philippines and Mikayo (Japan). Plant and Soil, 189(2):239-244.

Contributors

Top of page

13/04/2016 Original text by:

Jeanine Vélez-Gavilán, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map