20 May 2010
everyone wants to know...
what this is.
It is Abutilon vitifolium, in full bloom with a great display of silky violet flowers. It is a quick growing, drought tolerant shrub, this plant has grown to 2m in two years, for full sun and well drained soil and opens the first of its crop of flowers in mid spring, continuing for at least a couple of months.
I can't remember which form we have - the label is somewhere - but all are good. Their is a lovely white form called 'Veronica Tennant' that is widely available but I do prefer the darker shades. I read they are not the hardiest of shrubs but I know of one growing in a cold Yorkshire garden in badly drained clay so they can't be that tender. They are not long lived but are easy to root from cuttings and easy from seed. The only problem with them is that the wood is very soft and they are easily broken by strong winds in exposed situations - or by being planted too close to railings.
This poor misshapen fellow flowering cheerfully at the North end has been repeatedly ripped to pieces by drug-rooters needing a rooting stick so has never really had a chance to get going. Blighters!