Ontario Weeds: Velvetleaf
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds,
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Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti
Other Names: abuliton, Butter-print, Elephant ear, Indian-mallow, Pir-marker, abutilon feuille de velours
Family: Mallow Family (Malvaceae)
General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.
Velvetleaf (A - plant beginning to flower; B - flower and green seedpods).
Velvetleaf. A. Upper part of flowering stem. B. Cluster of seedpods.
Leaves: Leaves alternate (1 per node), broadly heart-shaped, large, 7-20cm (3-8in.) wide with a sharp-pointed apex, shallowly round-toothed, soft-hairy and very velvety to the touch.
Flowers & Fruit: Flowers single or in small clusters fom the leaf sxils, each with 5 large sepals and 5 yellow to yellow-orange petals, 1.3-2.5cm (1/2-1in.) wide when open; the filaments untied to form a central column as in the mallows; the fruit form each flower is a circular cluster of 12 to 15 seedpods about 1.3-2.5cm (1/2-1in.) long, at first green but turning dark brown to black at maturity, each individual pod opening with a vertical slit down its back and containing several purplish-brown, V-shaped seeds about 1mm (1/25in.) long. Flowers from late July until autumn.
Habitat: Velvetleaf occurs in southern Ontario where it is increasing in corn, soybeans and other annually tilled crops and in waste places.
Similar Species: It is distinguished by its erect habit of growth, large, alternate, valentine-shaped leaves which are very soft-velvety to the touch, its yellow to yellow-orange flowers, each with a central column of staments, its ring of several seedpods produced from each flower, and in late autumn bu the rather grotesque to blackish stem with many erect clusters of seedpods.
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