Abelmoschus ficulneus is a species of
flowering plant in the genus Abelmoschus, family Malvaceae. Commonly
known as White Wild Musk Mallow or Native Rosella, it is fibrous
perennial with a woody stem. Its flowers are about an inch in diameter,
either pink or white, with a rose center;its leaves are palmate.
species grows as a small erect shrub, 2 to 5 ft (1 to 2 m) tall and 2 to
6 ft (1 to 2 m) across. Leaves are 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in) long and 4 to 7
cm (2 to 3 in) wide, with a circular shape (heart-shaped near base).
Leaves are rough on both sides, toothed, and have 3 to 5 lobes. Flower
stock are covered in velvety hair, and the flowers themselves are 5 to 7
cm (2 to 3 in) across. The stocks are short and colored white to pink
with a dark purple center. Flowers last a few days. The plant has small
hairs which may cause irritation. The plant's seed heads are hairy and
sticky, ovalar in shape and 2.5–4 cm (1–2 in) long and 1.3–2 cm (1–1 in)
wide, with five ribs and a short beak. Seeds that are still in their
growth period are medium to dark green, and when they are mature they
turn dark brown, and split into five parts to release 10 to 20 brown to
black spherical seeds, covered in tiny hairs.
Abelmoschus ficulneus germinates in the spring and summer months,
after the effects of rainfall and irrigation have set in. The plant
grows rapidly over spring and summer several months after emergence,
through autumn. Mature seeds are produced within a month of flowering in
the late summer and autumn seasons.
The species is native to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia,
Madagascar and also northern Australia where it has become a common crop
weed, particularly in cotton.