September 16, 2015

Abutilon theophrasti Medicus

Life cycle

Erect summer annual.

velvetleaf plant
Velvetleaf plant.


Seedlings have one heart-shaped cotyledon and one nearly round cotyledon with short hairs on both surfaces. Leaves are alternate, broadly heart-shaped, 3 to 8 inches long and nearly as wide with narrow, pointed tips and long, slender petioles. Leaves have round-toothed margins and softly hairy surfaces that feel velvety.

velvetleaf seedling
Velvetleaf seedling.


Erect, up to 7-foot-tall stems with little branching are covered with short, velvety hairs and may persist through the winter.

Flowers and fruit

Yellow to yellow-orange five-petaled flowers form solitarily on short stalks in the upper leaf axils. Fruit are approximately 1-inch-wide, bowl-shaped, green capsules that turn dark brown at maturity. Each capsule has nine to 15 compartments, each containing three to nine grayish brown, somewhat flattened and notched seeds.

velvetleaf fruit & flower
Velvetleaf fruit and flower.



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