Palmer’s mallow

Abutilon palmeri


The Palmer’s mallow is native to the dry foothill slopes and desert washes of California and Arizona where it grows with variable amounts of winter rainfall and long periods of drought. Its pale gray-green foliage helps reflect hot sun and reduce moisture stress. It commonly grows into a mounding shrub approximately 4 ft. tall and 4-5 ft. wide. Bright lemon-yellow flowers occur in late spring and can occur intermittently throughout the year. Seeds from these plants easily germinate in ornamental gardens.

Palmer’s mallow is widely adapted to garden and landscape conditions throughout the Inland Empire. It thrives in full sun and with low amounts of supplemental water in the summer. As a California native, it has proven to be one of the easiest to grow and is highly tolerant of summer water. Plants receiving more water will grow faster and larger; it responds well to pruning in late fall through winter to manage its size. It combines well with other plants of the Southwest and many California native perennial species.


Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Blue green, Silvery white
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: All day sun
Function: Residential spaces, Foliage accent plant, California native, Borders, Background plant
Height: 4 ft. – 5 ft.
Width: 4 ft. – 5 ft.