Ontario Weeds: Velvetleaf

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Leaves
  7. Flowers and Fruit
  8. Habitat
  9. Similar Species
  10. Related Links

Name: Velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti Medic.,

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.

Photos and Pictures

Velvetleaf.

Velvetleaf (A - plant beginning to flower; B - flower and green seedpods).

Velvetleaf (A - plant beginning to flower; B - flower and green seedpods).


Velvetleaf. A. Upper part of flowering stem. B. Cluster of seedpods. Velvetleaf. A. Upper part of flowering stem. B. Cluster of seedpods.
Stems & Roots: Stems 1-2m (3 - 6 1/2ft) tall and occasionally taller, much-branched in the upper part, finely soft-hairy.

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.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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