Abutilon whistleri Fosb.
Family: Malvaceae
not available

Abutilon whistleri Fosb.

            Smith. Contr. Bot. 47: 6. 1981. 

            Endemic to Savai‘i, where it is uncommon in cloud forest, reported from 1140 to 1400 m elevation.  This species apparently has its origins in tropical America, and the only other Polynesian species in the genus (two of them) are found in eastern Polynesia.  The plant is virtually unknown to Samoans, since it occurs far inland and away from habitations, and no uses or local names are reported.

            Medium-sized to large tree up to 18 m in height, with young stems and foliage minutely stellate.  Leaves simple, alternate; blade cordate to ovate 7–13 cm (–26) long, cordate at the base, acuminate at the tip; surfaces stellate pubescent, more densely so on the lower side, with some simple hairs, palmately veined with 5 main veins and 4 smaller ones from the base; margins irregularly and shallowly dentate; petiole 5–6 cm long, stellate pubescent.  Inflorescence an axillary few-flowered raceme up to 10 cm long, peduncle and pedicel stellate pubescent, the latter 1–2 cm long, jointed in the middle.  Calyx campanulate, deeply divided into 3 ovate lobes concave on the inner surface, 9–13 mm long, densely stellate pubescent.  Corolla of 5 free, white obovate petals 1.7–2.1 cm long.  Ovary superior, with a long, thin, 5-lobed style.  Stamens many, monadelphous, forming a tube around the style, filaments white with a yellow anther.  Fruit a subglobose capsule 1.2–1.5 cm wide, comprising ca. 19–22 stellate pubescent segments.  Flowering reported from June and July, fruiting in July and September, but both probably occurring for a considerably longer period.

Distinguishable by its medium-sized tree habit; stellate pubescence; alternate heart-shaped leaves; white flowers; stamens many and fused into a column around the style; and many-segmented capsule.

            SAVAII: Christophersen 2677! (Type Specimen); Whistler 2476!, 10243!, 13827!.