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Abutilon, Tourn., Gærtn.

Involucellum nullum. Stigmata capitellata. Ovula in loculis 3, raro 4–9, ommia seu inferiora patula vel resupinato-pendula. Fructus 5-polycoccus; carpellis unilocellatis subbivalvibus, ab axi vix secedentibus. Radicula adscendens vel centripeta — Folia cordata.

ABUTILON, Tourn. Dill. Elth. (excl. spec.). Gærtn. Fr. 2. p. 251. t. 135. Kunth in H.B.K Nov. Gen. & Sp. 5. p. 270. t. 474. Adr. Juss. in St. Hil. Fl. Bras. 1. p. 196. t. 40–42. Torr. & Gray, Fl. 1. p. 230. Endl. Gen. 5292.
SIDÆ Sp., Linn., Cav., L'Her., DC.
BASTARDIÆ Sp., Adr. Juss. Endl. l. c.

CALYX naked (destitute of an involucel), five-cleft, persistent; the segments valvate in æstivation. PETALS 5, obovate, often retuse, convolute in æstivation, hypogynous, their claws coherent with the base of the stamineal column, at length deciduous. STAMENS indefinite, monadelphous in a simple column, the dilated hypogynous base of which is united with the claws of the petals: FILAMENTS usually all arising from the summit of the column: ANTHERS reniform, one-celled, opening by a semicircular line around the convex side, two-valved: POLLEN (as in the whole order) globose, hispid. OVARIES 5 to 20 or more, closely united in a circle around a central receptacle, not divided by any false partition or internal process: STYLES of the same number as the ovaries, united below: STIGMAS terminal, capitate. OVULES from 3 (or rarely fewer) to 9 in each carpel, affixed to its inner angle above or about the middle, amphitropous or almost anatropous; the uppermost ascending or patulous, the lower more or less resupinate-pendulous (as in Sida).

FRUIT a whorl of 5 to 20 or more united follicular carpels, which scarcely separate from each other or from the cental axis at maturity, usually invested below by the persistent calyx, their summits often radiate-spreading, rostrate or pointless, coriaceous or membranaceous, dehiscent by the ventral suture at the apex, and frequenyl also by the dorsal suture, each three–six seeded, or by abortion one–two seeded, the cell destitute of any internal process or partition. SEEDS round-reniform or subclavate reniform, the lower resupinate-pendulous, the upper often horizontal or when there are several, ascending, the umbilical sinus superior or dorsal, testa crustaceous, smooth, or minutely hairy. EMBRYO incurved, in sparing fleshy albumen: COTYLEDONS very broad, foliaceous, cordate, biplicate and infolded, partly inclosing the RADICLE, which is centripetal or in the lower seeds centripetal-superior.

HERBS, or sometimes shrubs, or even trees in the tropics, often tomentose or velvety with a fine stellate pubescences. Leaves alternate, palmately veined, almost always cordate, serrate or entire, rarely lobed. Stipules free, deciduous. Peduncles axillary, solitary or several, one–several-flowered, articulated below the apex, sometimes paniculate by the reduction of the upper leaves of the branches to bracts. Corolla yellow or orange [1].

ETYMOLOGY. The name is of unknown origin or meaning, probably Oriental [2]: it appears to have been introduced by Dodoneus and Bauhin. The genus has commonly been united to Sida.

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. A genus of numerous species, which belong chiefly to the tropical regions of the Old and the New World. Three or four species are indigenous to the southern borders of the United States, namely, in Florida and Texas; and one (the common Indian Mallow or Velvet-leaf, a native of India, has escaped from gardens and become sparingly naturalized around dwellings and by the road-side in the Northern States.

PROPERTIES: These plants possess the demulcent qualities of the whole family; and in India and Brazil some species are employed in popular medicine in the same way as is the officinal Marsh Mallow in Europe.

NOTE. The carpels, when only five in number, are opposite the sepals, at least in the species here figured (Plate 125); while in Sida spinosa, and I believe in other species, they are situated opposite the petals. — When the ovules are only three in number they are either placed one above the other, as in A. Avicennae, or, more commonly, the two upper are collateral, as shown in Plate 125, Fig. 1 and Fig. 5. From this species and its allies, Wissadula, Medik., appear to differ only in having a partition across the cell above the lower seeda — I do not possess sufficient materials for properly characterizing the sections into which the genus Abutilon is to be divided. The type of one of them (Gayoides), with a vesicular muticous fruit, is Sida crispa, Linn., which, having three ovules (and usually two seeds) in each carpel (Plate. 126), cannot be a species of Bastardia, to which genus Adrien de Jussieu referred itb. To the same group, on account of its entirely similar aspect and structure, excepting the one-seeded carpels, I should refer the Bastardia nemoralisc, and thus restrict the latter genus to the original species with a suspended seed (the section Abutiloides, Endl.) Abutilon trichopodum, Ach. Rich.d, which is also a native of Key West, is very closely allied to A. crispum, but appears to be distinct.

a I have seen no representative of this genus. I have, indeed, a flowering specimen of Sida periplocifolia, β Caribæa, DC., from Key West, which Ach. Richard (who does not describe the internal structure of the fruit), in the Botany of La Sagra's work on Cuba, holds, I suppose incorrectly, to be identical with the Oriental S. periplocifolia, Linn.; but the ovary exhibits no trace of transverse partitions, so that the Caribbean species is a true Abutilon.
b In St. Hil. Fl. Bras. Merid. 1. p.194
c Op. cit. p. 195, t. 39.
d In La Sagra, Hist. Cub., part. Bot. I'1. Vasc. p. 155. t. 17.

[1] Abutilon × hybridum also has forms with red, pink or white flowers. Corynabutilon vitifolium and C. ochsenii, which were probably included in Abutilon when this flora was written, have blue flowers.
[2] Some sources state that Abutilon is an Arabic word for mallow.

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