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Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Annual Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)

General: Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) is a tall, invasive annual with bright yellow flowers and large, heart-shaped leaves that are covered with soft, velvety hairs. The seed pods are diagnostic.

Velvetleaf is an invasive weed that is an uncommon component of disturbed semi-desert vegetation. Around Las Vegas, this species is uncommon -- let's all work to make sure it stays that way.

Keep an eye out for this species and pull it up if you find it; it is the most important crop weed in the Midwestern US and is considered a Noxious Weed in some states.

Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)

Family: Malvaceae (Mallow).

Other Names: butterprint, butter-weed, buttonweed, velvetweed, Indian mallow.

Plant Form: Upright, leafy annual.

Height: To about 6 feet.

Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)

Stems: Erect; covered with star-shaped hairs.

Leaves: Leaves large (to about 8-inches long), heart-shaped with a long, tapered tip; leaf covered with star-shaped hairs.

Flowers: Inflorescence: solitary or few in leaf axils. Flower 5-petaled, yellow, to 1-inch diameter; looks plastic or buttery.

Seeds: Borne in capsules of 12-15 woody segments; capsules remain intact at maturity. Seeds brown, heart shaped.

Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)

Habitat: Crop fields, roadsides, gardens.


Distribution: Throughout North America. Native to Southeast Asia.

Comments: Introduced to North America in mid-1700s as a potential fiber crop.

For More Information: DiTomaso, J.M., and E.A. Healy. 2007. Weeds of California and other Western States. University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication 3488. 2 Vol. ISBN 978-1-879906-69-3.

Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Leaf and petiole with hairs
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Yellow, 5-petaled flower and developing seed capsule
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Sepals and seed pods are covered with velvety hairs
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Developing seed capsule
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Mature seed capsule with valves open to release seeds
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Mature seed capsule
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Mature seed capsule broken open with seeds
Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)
Velvetleaf seeds

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 141117

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