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Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)

Velvetleaf Synonyms: Abutilon abutilon, Abutilon avicennae

Common Names: Indian mallow, butterprint, buttonweed, velvetleaf

Description: Introduced to North America in the 1700s as a potential fiber crop. This species is listed under Regulation No. 715 - Seed Law Implementation as a restricted noxious weed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

Habit: Summer annual, that reproduces only by seed and reaches a height of 1-4 m.

Leaves: Large, heart-shaped with pointed tips. Alternate, with long, stout leaf stalks and a distinct odor when crushed.

Stems: Branched, covered with soft, velvety hairs and growing 3-8 ft. in height.

Flowers: Yellow, up to 1 in. in diameter, with 5 petals that are fused at the base. Grow on stalks and found singly or in clusters where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

Fruit and seeds: Produces pod-like capsules that consist of a cup-like ring formed by 12-15 woody segments. One plant can produce up to 17,000 seeds and remain viable for 50-60 years.

Habitat: Native to southern Asia. Can be found in orchards, vinyards, crop fields, nursery fields, gardens, roadsides and other disturbed areas.


Monitoring and rapid response: Can be easily pulled or dug up before going to seed. Established populations will take longer to eradicate due to the long lived seeds. Can be mowed close to the ground while plants are still small. Do not till or plow - promotes seed germination.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from King County Noxious Weeds.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Abutilon theophrasti







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