Velvetleaf

(Abutilon theophrasti)

 

 
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© Jan Samanek
© Steve Dewey
© Jan Samanek
© Steve Dewey

Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) is an annual forb native to Asia. This summer annual’s seedling is formed with one heart-shaped and one round cotyledon. These cotyledons are hairy on both the upper and lower surface. As the plant grows, the stems become erect and can range in heights of 2 to 7 feet tall. Fine and soft hairs are present along the unbranched stem. Leaves form alternate from one and another. They range in size from 2 inches to 6 inches in width and length. Both surfaces of the leaves are densely covered in soft, “velvet” hairs. Leaves are heart-shaped with toothed margins and taper to a point. Single flowers are born on individual stalks at the leaf axils. They are yellow-orange in color, and are 1/2 to 1 inch in size. The flowers have 5 petals and the stamens of the flower form a tube. Flowering occurs in late June to October. The seed capsule is round in shape about 1 inch in diameter. The seed capsule has 9 to 15 prickly seed pockets, arranged in a disk. Each seed pocket contains 3 to 9 egg-shaped seeds. Seed viability can last up to 50 years in the soil. The plant has a fibrous taproot.

Velvetleaf Factsheet pdf file