Scientific Name: Abutilon theophrasti

Common Name: velvetleaf

Other Common Names: China jute, buttonweed, butterprint, pie-maker

Synonyms: 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.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Malvaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: heart

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: orange; yellow

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Flower diameter: dime; quarter; nickle

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; longer than leaf