PlantTherapy: Chinese Lanterns

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Abutilon is sold by more colorful names such as The Flowering Maple and Chinese Lantern. I recently spied this plant used to beautiful effect in a pair of townhouse planters, to give them more height.

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This species of Abutilon is from a more tropical region, and will not survive for long once the frost arrives. It is an ideal plant, however, to bring outside in the spring, then enjoy inside throughout the winter months.

A few years ago we bought one at Logee's and we use it in our bedroom window instead of a curtain. It filters the light and provides us with a bit of privacy. It enjoys our east-facing window and the bulbous, cup-like blossoms are a constant presence, like floating lanterns or embers escaping a fire.

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matt at apartment therapy dot com

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.