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. Petiolate. Stipules present.

Flowers: Flowers solitary in the leaf axils or in racemes; pedicels short, not articulate, involucel of 4–16 bracts, these sometimes connate basally, caducous or persistent. Involucral bracts usually 6–10 linear to lanceolate, 9–15(–25) mm long, 1–2.5(–5) mm wide, usually persistent to early fruit. Flowers bisexual (perfect). 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. Stamens 5 to numerous, monadelphous, forming a staminal column, staminal column included, antheriferous from near base to below the 5–toothed apex; filaments terminating the staminal column or borne below a 5-dentate apex; anthers monothecal. Pollen globose, echinate. Ovary superior, 5-celled; ovules numerous per cell, the carpels borne in a single whorl or rarely seemingly superposed whorls, placentation axile; ovules numerous per cell, ascending to pendulous; style shortly 5–branched; stigmas terminal, peltate.

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. Seeds reniform–ovoid; usually striate pubescent; 3–4 mm long; with or without endosperm.

Ploidy: 2n = 72.


Elevation Range:

Historical Distribution

Distribution maps coming soon.

Uses and Culture


Natural History

Statewide Status

Potentially Naturalizing

Island Status

Kaua'i Potentially Naturalizing
O'ahu Only found in cultivation

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)


SNo. Scientific Name Scientific Name Authorship Locality Habitat Record Number Basis of Record Recorded By Island Publisher Date
1 Abelmoschus moschatus Medik. - 2553 PRESERVED_SPECIMEN Heller, A.A. Malvenfam.: 46 (1787) 1895-07-12
2 Abelmoschus moschatus Medik. W Maui, Lahaina District, Alaeloa Cultivated 3696 PRESERVED_SPECIMEN C. R. Annable Maui Malvenfam.: 46 (1787) 8/9/1997