Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 21: 446. 1886.
Herbs or subshrubs, usually perennial, to 1 m. Stems erect, minutely stellate-tomentulose, hairs yellowish. Leaves: stipules subulate, 5–9 mm; petiole 1 / 2 to as long as blade; blade concolorous, suborbiculate to ovate, 3–7 cm, ± as long as wide, base cordate, margins sharply serrate, apex acuminate, surfaces minutely tomentulose, obscured by pubescence. Inflorescences terminal, compact panicles. Flowers: calyx 6–8 mm, lobes not overlapping, erect in fruit, lanceolate-ovate; corolla rotate, yellow throughout, petals 9–15 mm; staminal column pubescent; style 5-branched. Schizocarps ± cylindric, 6–7 × 6–7 mm; mericarps: apex usually acute, surface coarsely stellate-pubescent. Seeds 3 per mericarp, 2 mm, puberulent but appearing glabrous. 2n = 14.
Phenology: Flowering summer.
Habitat: Arid habitats, hillsides, plains, canyons
Elevation: 300–1500 m
Ariz., N.Mex., Tex., Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Zacatecas).
Abutilon malacum is found in southwestern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and the Big Bend area of Texas.