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Abroma augustum

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Title: Abroma augustum  
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Subject: Theobroma, Abroma
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Abroma augustum

Abroma augustum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Abroma
Species: A. augustum
Binomial name
Abroma augustum
(L.) L.f.

Abroma augustum, Devil's cotton is a species of Abroma (Malvaceae). It has dark red flowers with an characteristic and unusual appearance. It is widely distributed in Asia. It was previously thought to grow in north Queensland but the most recent survey did not find it.


It is a medicinal plant with a wide variety of reported uses, including as an abortifacient and for treating uterine disorders, diabetes, rheumatic joint pain, headaches with sinusitis, dysmenorrhoea, gonorrhea, stomachache, diabetes and dermatitis.[1][2]

The leaves and stems are covered with soft bristly hairs that are very irritating to the touch. The bark yields a jute-like fiber.

Blooming Time

In the greenhouse, plants bloom from late spring to early summer. Dark maroon flowers are formed in terminal panicles. Individual flowers are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) across.


Abroma augusta need full sun to partial shade with a rich well-drained soil mix. To grow indoors or in a greenhouse, use a mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. Plants should be watered and allowed to dry out slightly before watering again. They should be fertilized weekly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. They are very fast growing, so repotting should be done when they outgrow their containers. Extra care should be taken when repotting so as not to come in contact with the irritating hairs. Wrapping newspaper around the trunk helps to prevent exposure to the hairs while handling the plant. During the winter months, water should be somewhat restricted, but not to the point that the plant loses its leaves.


Abroma augusta is propagated from seed. Seed germinate in 21-30 days at 72° F (24°C).


Assamese : Bon kopashi
Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi  : Ulat kambal
English : Devil's cotton
Hindi : Olat kambal
Sanskrit : Pisacha karpus, Pivari, Ritumati, Ucchat, Yonipushpa
Tamil : Sivapputtutti
Telugu : Gogu, Kondagogu Thailand : Taindum


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