Abroma augustum (L.) L.fil., as per IPNI and POWO;
Abroma augusta (L.) L.f. , Suppl. Pl. 341 1782. (syn. Abroma alata Blanco; Abroma angulata Lam.; Abroma angulosa Poir.; Abroma augustum (L.) L. f.; Abroma communis Blanco; Abroma denticulata Miq.; Abroma elongata Lam.; Abroma fastuosa R.Br.; Abroma javanica Miq.; Abroma mariae Mart.; Abroma mollis DC.; Abroma obliqua C.Presl; Abroma sinuosa G.Nicholson; Abroma wheleri Retz.; Herrania mariae (Mart.) Decne. ex Goudot; Theobroma augustum L.; Theobroma mariae (Mart.) K. Schum.);
Indian hemp or Ulat Kambal, Devil’s Cotton, Cotton Abroma • Nepali: Chinne, Sanu kapase, Ulatkambal, Pisach karpas;
India: In eastern parts and Uttar Pradesh; Nepal, Bhutan to China, Malesia and Micronesia as per BSI Flora of India;


Abroma augusta (L.) L.f. from Hooghly:

The family of this plant is confusing –
… post – efi thread
Species : Abroma augusta (L.) L.f.
Bengali name : ULATKAMBOL (উলটকম্বল / ওলটকম্বল)
Habit & Habitat : wild shrub or tree, 15 feet tall, roadside
Date : 30/7/12, 10.40 A.M., 1.50 P.M.
Place : Garalgacha (Hooghly)

Thanks for sharing a detailed illustration of A. augusta.
In the new system of classification (APG III) Sterculiaceae is treated under Malvaceae. So you can keep this plant in your Malvaceae folder. 🙂 

Thank you very much for the info. But it gives birth to more questions-
  • What is APG III ?
  • Why should Sterculiaceae go to Malvaceae?
Dug up a little bit and found this-
APG > APG III > Malvales > Malvaceae > Byttnerioideae (not Sterculioideae !!!) > Abroma

Please find attached herewith a PDF on APG III. You can go through page 96 where you’ll find all the families treated under Malvaceae (including Sterculiaceae).
Hope this satisfies your query.

Thank you very much … for the pdf file.
The file was published in 2011. The wikipedia says APG III was conceived in 2009. Now, how long will you allow the use of “family : Sterculiaceae“, instead of “family : Malvaceae“, for this plant, if any botany student submit his/her paper for any research project?

One more interesting fact about the accepted name of this plant! Actually it was first named as AMbroma…and not ABroma.
Later, the ‘M’ of AMbroma somehow got overlooked!
I remember my first interaction with … on eflora….who mentioned the name as AMbroma…and I asked him to correct it as ABroma 🙂
efi thread
Still I don’t know which one to follow 🙁 …..Perhaps AMbroma!

Very surprising! Yet another name for this plant is Abroma augustum (L.) L. f. (http://www.tropicos.org/Name/30400001 and http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?101879) or Ambroma augustum (L.) L. f. (http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=250076909), under Sterculiaceae.

Please don’t worry about the ‘augustum’ and ‘augusta’ issue. Both are same. As per ICBN guidelines, gender of the specific epithet should follow the gender of the generic name….thats why it is AbroMA augusTA!! Similarly DillenIA indiCA, MangifeRA indiCA etc. etc….I remember the issue was discussed long back on eflora…..(conversation between … sir and …).
This link will help you to know more:
And yes, you can ask your students to treat A. augusta under Malvaceae….even if they are submitting a research proposal (referring APGIII). 

Thank you very much for elaborating on ‘A’ and ‘UM’. Please tell me –
    1. how the names “Abroma” or “Ambroma” and “augusta” or “augustum” were selected? There is a ‘botanary’ available in Dave’s Garden and it has “Abroma” but no “Ambroma“.
    1. what is the deadline for the use of “Sterculiaceae” for Abroma augusta, or any other member of the same family (sterculiaceae)? 

Ambroma and Abroma is still a mystery to me! Waiting to hear from our experts!
And there is no such deadline defined yet…but it depends on your perception of the classification system. If you want to follow APG….2009 could be a deadline. Lets hear from others too.

As i was musing over the name of this plant and found meanings of its latin name, it appeared very amusing to me! According to ‘Botanary‘ :-
Abroma = mildly toxic
augusta or augustum = noble. majestic
So, Abroma augusta = mildly toxic (but) noble (lady, since it is a gender issue, AbroMA and augusTA) !!!

Yes looking for malvaceae and abroma… brings up many pages … recognizable among them in the first twenty listings often is my writeup from september… …so that’s no help… …………………………

Abroma is very irritating, as can be seen/read in – http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week262.shtml.

Thanks for the “orthographic variant”, it may explain Boerhaavia and Boerhavia.
Thanks for ‘Broma’, ‘Abroma’, ‘Ambroma’, ‘Theobroma’, found some info at – http://wordinfo.info/unit/2421/ip:21
Thanks for ‘Linnaeus fils’, searched and found – http://www2.nrm.se/fbo/hist/linnefil/linfil.html.en
Thank you very much for the entire content at – efi thread. Please, consider copying the same at – efi thread too.

Thanks for exploring a lot on Abroma and Ambroma issue! I learnt a lot from all the links which you and … have provided to make things clear.

Found more on Abroma augusta (L.) L.f. at – http://www.prota4u.org/Abroma+augusta+(L.)+L.f.


Malvaceae week 09 05 2011 UD 001 Abroma augusta
: A very interesting plant, I was drawn to it for the photography challenges it provided,   my first Ulat Kambal was growing among a group of very large,
very unwieldy Aloes  with their sharp  leaf ends…  AND  the process of fertilized ovary growing to face up towards the sky is very very intriguing to say the least….   Process involves part of the twig growing larger longer
cells so that pedicle of the flower can do a 180 degrees twist… Almost similar to the insectivorous plants’ trap closing mechanism…..
Abroma augusta L. Syn : Ambroma augustumAbroma augustum  (seems to be currently preferred name)
      Abroma augusta L.  (name ingrained in Medicine, Ethnobotany books and Homeopathic remedies )
Bengali name: Ulat Kambal:    ওলঢ   কঁবল
No Sanskrit name, In Hindi called ULTA Kambal
No Gujarati name….   In the past not grown nor used in Gujarat…  DON’T KNOW if currently its being grown all over India or not,   what with rapid dissemination of Knowledge and gardening enthusiasts… It is also not mentioned by Shushruta or Charak….  Bapalal Vaidya says it grows in the  NE  Himalayan range and nearby states,  and in the past was
rarely seen in the western jungles.
Taxon:   Abroma augustum (L.) L. f.
Genus: Abroma
   Family: Malvaceae
       subfamily: Byttnerioideae
Date/Time-  Several Years while studying Ethnobotany, 2007 till present, Pics are from during these years…
Location- Place, Altitude, GPS-  Kolkata Horticulture Gardens Sea level or 2-3 feet below sea level
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-  Cultivated, Herb Garden….I have also seen it cultivated at Jute Research Institute Grounds, Ballygunj Circular Road, Kolkata, and in private Gardens of Individuals
Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-    Shrub,
Height/Length-  Most I have seen is about  10 feet tall.
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size-   Younger leaves Sagittate , older lower leaves are Palmate
Inflorescence Type/ Size-   Individual flowers Hanging  face  down
Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-  4 to 6 cms  across  brownish-violet mixed color
Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds-      Seeds are less than a mm wide, black… covered with thick beige brown hairs..   but do not help seeds fly  far…. It seems the tuft remain in the seed pods and seeds fall off or are eaten …  Seeds pods/ fruits are 5 to 7  cms across and 1 – 3 cms deep.
Other Information like Fragrance, Pollinator, Uses etc.- Do not know, but see figure 6 for some insect guests…  WOULD LIKE TO KNOW the names of these beetles if possible… they seemed very busy….
USES:  Medicinal:  Used for Dysmenorrhoea. and in postpartum complaints. Homeopathy: for Bronchitis, Diabetes, and Dysmeorrhoea.  Main ingredient is  ß-sitosterol .
***  source of confusion, finally saw this at  USDA  Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)  site URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?101879   (06 September 2011)

beautiful pictures …. Specially the third picture reminded me of some beautiful lamps in a row


Flora of Haryana: Abroma angusta from TDL Herbal Park Yamunanagar:
Abroma angusta from TDL Herbal Park Yamunanagar
Common Name – Ulat Kambal

Thanks Sir First Time i could shot this plant in flowering mode. In Last 9-10 visits i could not see its flowers

Very nice… good to see so many photos of the flowers… quite rare…
question: is it Abroma angusta or robusta? as your label shows…
also I dont think its aNgusta … it may be aUgusta… I may be wrong… pleas check…
Now I guess you’ll have to go back and photograph the pollinated seedpods that do the ULAT palat…..
my pictures of that Ulat palat are at
submitted during the malvaceae week…

I think Abroma angusta only. also called as Devil’s Cotton 

There is no published name Abroma robusta, the label must be an error
… the correct spellings are A. augusta (L.) L.f. and not A. angusta

Sir you are right. Name is also incorrect on FOI

Fruits of the same Plant

…. wonderful… to see the ULAT Palat…
the downfacing flowers when pollinated, signal a cell elongation factor etc to perform this acrobatic feat..
I just love these exercises that can be seen so quickly in a plant..

i think i learn from this group and especially from you how to take photograph of different parts of a plant in different angles. So thanks to the group for giving me an opportunity to learn.
These are mine from Orissa


Malvaceae week 09 05 2011 UD 001 Abroma augusta: ENOUGH ALREADY…
ON this later thread ther was a lot of discussion on the anmes AMBROMA versus ABAROMa and … would not let go … I fi=nally did some digging… googling for sure… and found the following I quote ” …
Yes looking for malvaceae and abroma… brings up many pages … recognizable among them in the first twenty listings often is my writeup from september… …so that’s no help…
but to day my irritation with this AMBROMA and ABROIMA was piqued enough…
I did some searches… like history of Abroma august and many inthis vein…
BUT then googled for ….”who named abroma /ambroma augusta originally? ” NO HELP
and many searches in this vein regarding who named it, who changed the name etc…
2nd set of googling for ….”who named abroma /ambroma augusta originally? ”
and hit pay dirt, got the following : I QUOTE : Abroma Notes

Abroma angustum (L.) Murray
Abroma (the persistent orthographic variant Ambroma is due to Linnaeus fils) is a genus belong to tribe Byttnerieae and subfamily Byttnerioideae of the angiosperm family Malvaceae sensu lato. The genus was introduced in 1776 by Jacquin, based on Linnaeus’s Theobroma augusta, but renaming the species as Abroma fastuosa. The correct combination was subsequently made by Linnaeus fils and Murray. Abroma, being based on the Greek βρομα(broma), is neuter, and while the feminine gender has generally been used for epithets in this genus, they should be corrected to neuter.
Abroma is generally considered a monotypic genus, with the sole species being Abroma augustum. However there are conflicting chromosome number reports (2n = 16, 20, 22, 24) for this species, so the possibility that it represents a species complex remains open.
Abroma angustum (L.) L.f.
Description: Chinese ang tian lian
Synonyms of Abroma augustum include Abroma alataBlanco, Abroma angulata Lam., Abroma angulosa Poir., Abroma communis Blanco, Abroma elongata Lam., Abroma fastuosa Gaertn., Abroma fastuosa Jacq., Abroma fastuosa Vent., Abroma molle DC., Abroma mollis DC., Abroma obliquum C.Presl, Abroma wheleri Retz. and Theobroma augusta L..
© 2011 Stewart R. Hinsley”
when I searched for ambroma versus abroma…
Homonyms, Paranyms and Orthographic Variants
Hj. Eichler
Taxon Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan., 1963), pp. 15-20
SINCE IT WAS LINNAEUS”S SON the fils means son… (or a father whichever ) I take it was perhaps the son… but could also be the father since he was alive during the first description of this plant.
I”LL DO ONE THING FOR SAKE OF COMPLETION (esp since my first submission keeps coming up on googling) I’ll copy paste what I wrote here to that thread and also put a link to this SURJAIT’s thread there …
… thread is at: efi thread

Abroma is very irritating, as can be seen/read in – http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week262.shtml.

Thanks for the “orthographic variant”, it may explain Boerhaavia and Boerhavia.
Thanks for ‘Broma’, ‘Abroma’, ‘Ambroma’, ‘Theobroma’, found some info at – http://wordinfo.info/unit/2421/ip:21
Thanks for ‘Linnaeus fils’, searched and found – http://www2.nrm.se/fbo/hist/linnefil/linfil.html.en


Flora of Haryana: Abroma augusta (L.) L.f. from Herbal Garden CCSHAU Farms:
Abroma augusta (L.) L.f. from Herbal Garden CCSHAU Farms
Family: Malvaceae

Here are flowers from TDL Herbal Park Yamunanagar

Family : Malvaceae
I faintly recollect some plant from the same genus observed in San Fransisco botanical garden. Will try to search.

I sent in a series of very clear pictures of this from the hort in kolkata… on septemeber 6th this year… you may have missed it…
the thread is


Ulatkamal photo : Attachments (1). 4 posts by 4 authors.

Thanks, …., It appears you are a very good photographher too.

Malvaceae Fortnight- Post 48 :: Abroma augustum: NS August 33/33 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (7)
These images belong to planted individuals at Herbal Parks in Yamunanagar and Hissar (Haryana)..
Abroma augustum

Flora of Manipur: Ambroma augusta – efloraofindia | Google Groups : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (6)
Ambroma augusta, a medicinal plant, from Manipur.

Pl correct the generic name as ‘Abroma’.
This plant is known as ‘Ulat kamal’ in hindi because of the shape of the fruits. The roots are used as a medicine for gynaecological ailments.

I think its a spelling variation, means both the spellings are used. In fact the species originally described as “Ambroma augusta” and some databases including GBIF http://data.gbif.org/species/15867839 , Wikipedia http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambroma and IPNI follow this. However, some databases and floras follow the other spelling, “Abroma augusta” as mentioned by you. So, which one is correct?


Is it Abroma augusta (Theobroma augusta)?
A garden plant from Shantiniketan.

Yes, it is Abroma augusta.

Thanks, Barry ji.
Here are links for Abroma augusta (Devil’s Cotton, Indian hemp or Ulat Kambal):
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week262.shtml (a picture with some details),
http://www.herbsnspicesinfo.com/abroma.aspx (some details with medicinal use), http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/pdf/a/anabo.pdf (details with synonyms).

SOME PLANT IMAGES: (mixed thread): 2 correct images.
Attaching some images of the following plants.
( a ) Abroma augusta. Commonly known as Devil’s Cotton. It is known as Ulat Kambal in Hindi and Bangla..
The plant got its use in Ayurvedic medicine. 

Attaching a collage depicting some  arrangements of pods(fruits) of Abroma augusta. It’s amazing how the arrangement is made in nature.

Very nice, this root and stem are used in medicine.

yes, … very nice. when i started learning about herbal medicine. this was the first plant they took us to see
todays picture ist one esp is unique.

Identify : 5 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (6)- around 650 kb each.
I want to know about the specie. Please help me.

this is ulat kambal//abroma augusta. we have a page  in our database

Yes …! Abroma augusta (L.) L.f.

SYMBIOSIS : 1351 : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Pigeon feeding on the seeds of Abroma augusta. (DEVIL’S COTTON/ ULAT-KAMBAL)

this is rare and unique. I have Never seen birds on Abroma. thank you. I guess its after the insects we see on the fruits or is it eating the small wooly seeds? I wonder

Thank you …
It is eating the seeds from the pods. All these years I was thinking doves and pigeons must be eating these seeds. Only this time I saw it happening in front of my eyes. I followed next few days and found pigeons were there on the same tree.
A few days back I have captured images of Ringed dove feeding on the seeds of this plant. I will upload in due course of time.

Plant for ID, Kolkata, West Bengal NAW-OCT19-01 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5)
Kindly identify this plant with maroon flowers, leaves upto 15 cms in width and winged fruit photographed near a filled-in pond in North Kolkata, West Bengal in September 2019. Height of plants about 2 metres

Abroma augusta (or, Abroma augustum), devil’s cotton

yes. as the flower looks to the earth, and when it is fertilized, the stalk turns around and the fruit is on the top side of the branch, towards the sky


Abroma augusta TDL Herbal Garden Yamuna Nagar-GS08122021-2: 4 high res. images.
Abroma augusta clicked from TDL Herbal Garden Yamuna Nagar, 10-9-2011

This is commonly known as Devil’s cotton. Has several medicinal uses. In Kannada it is called ”Devva Hatti


Abroma augusta (L.) L. f.: 8 very high res. images.

Location: Palpa 
Altitude: 1000m.
Date: 31 August 2021
Habit : Wild

Correct is Abroma augustum (L.) L.fil. ??

Yes, as per IPNI and POWO.