Urena lobata from Gina SC

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I have three of these beautiful plants pop up in my garden this year. I am sure I can thank the birds for sharing this beauty but don’t know anything about it. Is it native to SC? Is it perennial? I want to move it out of my garden and into the front flower beds but would like to know more about it and what it is first. They are all about 3 feet tall now. Thank you in advance for any information. Greetings from SC.


Hi Gina,

your plant is an interesting one from the tropical areas of mostly southeast Asia but is often found as a weed in the American tropics, too. I don’t think it is established anywhere in the Carolinas. It is Urena lobata, sometimes called Caesarweed, and I have no idea why. The seeds can be carried around by clothing or fur, not usually in birdseed. It is in the family Malvaceae which also has cotton and hibiscus.  I don’t think it will be hardy here, but I am not certain. It is a tropical plant.


Dr. Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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