ABUTILON RED TIGER

ABUTILON RED TIGER

from 7.50

AVAILABLE SPRING 2019. Rare and exquisitely beautiful. Abutilon Red Tiger is unquestionably the choicest of flowering maples with its bell shaped red-veined orangey yellow flowers dangling among the rather jagged foliage from long lax branches, like so many delicate Tiffany lampshades. Give it a sheltered spot, possibly against a wall, and it will flower almost constantly from spring to late autumn. Hardy to around -5C. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. To 6 feet. 3 litre or 1 litre pot. Please note plants will be cut back to 60 cm if sent by courier.

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Abutilon Red Tiger is one of those 'once seen, never forgotten' kind of plants. It was indeed a long time before we actually saw it for ourselves, having heard of it in faraway places, typically the United States, and having looked at it longingly in photos on the internet. We were smitten and undertook an ongoing search for this seemingly mythical thing of beauty. That search is now over and we are delighted to be able to offer Red Tiger on the UK market.

So what's all the fuss about? It's all about the flowers, of course. Ah, those flowers - pendant, yellow to orange globes veined in dark red hanging in profusion from the arching branches among the jagged pointed foliage, and doing so over a remarkably long period, virtually year-round given the right conditions. A sheltered spot against a wall in a city garden will suit it perfectly, but we like it as a freestanding speciment in a large pot so it can do its thing on the patio throughout summer and then become an indoor beauty in the winter. If you want to let it grow full height, some form of support is advisable, but by pruning to check the growth and promote branching, you can create a more rounded self-supporting shrub. Prune back fairly hard in spring and at intervals during the season to keep the shape you want.

We were attending a plant fair at West Woodhay Manor in 2017 and there was a lovely specimen of Abutilon Red Tiger in a pot with a trellis frame in the conservatory there. Unsurprisingly sales of the plant in question went very well indeed on our stand!

As for the origins of Red Tiger, it certainly seems to be a variant of Abutilon Pictum aka Striatum. There are a few other similar varieties out there, but Red Tiger has to be the king of them all. Certainly just about anyone who visits the nursery and sees it in flower finds they have to buy one!

Abutilon Red Tiger is a fairly hardy evergreen shrub with hanging bell shaped orange yellow flowers with red veining in spring, summer and autumn.


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