Abelmoschus moschatus

Medik. (1787)

This name is accepted

Kingdom: Viridiplantae Phylum: Magnoliophyta Class/Clade: Eudicot-Rosids Order: Malvales Family: Malvaceae Genus: Abelmoschus



Key Characters:

Growth Form: Erect perennial herbs or subshrubs 2–3(–4) m tall.

Stems: Stems usually hispid, the hairs simple, appressed or retrorse.


Leaves: Leaves simple. Leaves alternate. Blades basically orbicular in outline, up to 30 cm wide, shallowly to deeply 3–lobed, 5–lobed, or 7–lobed or parted, the divisions deltate to oblong–lanceolate. Surfaces sparsely hirsute. Margins coarsely serrate to dentate. Stipules present.

Flowers: Capsules dark brown to black, ovoid to oblong, terete or slightly angled, 5-8 cm long, usually hispid. Calyx (1–)1.8–3.5 cm long, spathaceous, 5-toothed, sometimes irregularly cleft or truncate, the lobes valvate in bud, splitting longitudinally at anthesis and later deciduous with the corolla and staminal column. Corolla funnelform, actinomorphic to moderately zygomorphic; 5 petals, obovate, yellow, purple–spotted at base, (4–)7–9 cm long, distinct from each other but adnate at base to staminal column, convolute in bud.

Fruit: Fruit a loculicidally dehiscent; usually elongate capsules; dark brown to black; ovoid to oblong; terete or slightly angled; 5–8 cm long; usually hispid. See 3-4 mm long.

Ploidy: 2N=72

Habitat: In Hawai?i occasionally cultivated and known from a single naturalized collection made in 1890 from near the falls of the Hanap?p? River; Kaua?i.

Elevation Range:

Historical Distribution

Distribution maps coming soon.

Uses and Culture


Natural History

Statewide Status

Potentially Naturalizing

Island Status

Ka'ula Absent
Mokupāpapa (Kure atoll) Absent
Ni'ihau(Incl. Lehua) Absent
Kuaihelani (Midway Atoll) Absent
Kaua'i Potentially Naturalizing
Manawai (Pearl & Hermes Atoll) Absent
O'ahu Only found in cultivation
Kapou(Lisianski Island) Absent
Molokai Absent
Kamole(Laysan Island) Absent
Lana'i Absent
Pūhāhonu (Gardner Pinnacles) Absent
Kaho'olawe Absent
Lalo (French Frigate Shoals) Absent
Maui Absent
Mokumanamana(Necker) Absent
Hawai'i Absent
Nihoa Absent

Dispersal Agents



Name Published In: Malvenfam.: 46 (1787)

Other References

Wagner et al. 1990:870 (K [single coll., Hanap?p? Valley, 1895]); Staples & Herbst 2005:383 (KEY), 384 (DESCR)