ABUTILON (from the Arabic aubutilun, a name given by Avicenna to this or an allied genus), in botany, a genus of plants, natural order Malvaceae (Mallows), containing about eighty species, and widely distributed in the tropics.
This arrangement is characteristic of the flower-buds of Malvaceae and Apocynaceae, and it is also seen in Convolvulaceae and Caryophyllaceae.
In Malvaceae an epicalyx is formed by the bracteoles.
Thus, in Malvaceae the corolla is contorted and the calyx valuate, or reduplicate; in St John's-wort the calyx is imbricate, and the corolla contorted.
When the flower is sessile the bracts are often applied closely to the calyx, and may thus be confounded with it, as in the order Malvaceae and species of Dianthus and winter aconite (Eranthis), where they have received the name of epicalyx or calyculus.