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Weed Identification

velvetleaf

Family

Malvaceae

Scientific Name

Abutilon theophrasti

Other Common Names:

buttonweed
buttonweed
pie-maker

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Abutilon abutilon
Abutilon avicennae

Habit

This is an erect summer annual that can grow to 7 feet in height.

Leaves

The alternate leaves are hairy and heart-shaped, and they grow 2 to 6 inches in length. The leaf veins come from the same point. The leaves have finely toothed margins and give off a foul odor when they are crushed.

Identifying Characteristics

This plant is identified by its heart-shaped leaves and the hairs on the stems and leaves. The seedling has hairs below the cotyledons and on them, and the seedling emerges with one heart-shaped leaf and one round cotyledon.

Flower Seed Head

The orangish-yellow to yellow flowers grow on shorter branches or stalks than the leaves. The flower grows from the joint where the leaf stalk connects to the main stem. Each flower has 5 petals and grow from 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter.

Seed Fruit

The seed pod is circular and contains a ring of spikes that come from the center of the seed pod. The seed pod is also slightly hairy and looks like chopped off okra.

Where Found

This plant can be found in most agricultural settings throughout the US, especially where the soil is tilled.

Growth Habit

upright and nonwoody

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter

Varies: 
dime
nickle
quarter

Dominant Flower Color

Varies: 
yellow
orange

Flower Symmetry

radial symmetery

Leaf Hairs

has hairs

Leaf Shape

heart

Leaf Arrangement

alternate

Leaf Margin

serrated

Leaf Structure

simple

Leaf Stalk

Varies: 
shorter than leaf
longer than leaf

Stem Hairs

has hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure

taproot

Life Cycle

summer annual

Ochrea

not present

Plant Type

Herb