Abutilon megapotamicum Little Imp is raved over in our garden. Seems hard to not love the bi-colored yellow and red Turk's cap-like flowers that abundantly cover this Brazilian bellflower.
This little imp would flower all year, if Jack Frost would let it. In some of the mild winters of late, it's stayed semi-evergreen here in zone 8a and even spit out a few flowers - enough to say, "that crazy plant is flowering in winter!"
We love how it colonized the area it was planted in - and would dig up suckers to give to the friends who rave (this plant is not patented so you can too!).
Since our plant is growing in partial shade, we whack it back to within 6-12 inches of the ground every spring to promote dense, new growth. Moral of the story: in full sun it is a denser plant (more foliage) plus it flowers more abundantly. However, in full sun it will wilt like a bigleaf hydrangea, so if that dramatic behavior bothers you, make sure it has a spot of afternoon shade.
Brazilian bellflower grows great in our heavy clay soils when ammended with organic matter to imrove drainage. We hear it's happy in sandy soils too, probably because sand drains so well.
Little Imp is shorter than typical Abutilon megapotamicum.
Little Imp Abutilon
flowering maple, trailing abutilon, Brazilian bellflower, Chinese lantern
USDA Hardiness Zones
spring, summer, fall
- Spring: light green
- Summer: light green
Fall Leaf Color Quality
Soil Moisture Requirements
average garden, moist-but-draining, no standing water
Soil pH Requirements
full sun, part shade
To Make It Thrive
Give it plenty of sunshine since it flowers best in full sun, shelter it from cold, keep well watered (like a Hydrangea macrophylla), and consistent moisture in a soil that drains.