Abutilon theophrasti Medik.
Malvaceae (Mallow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Christine Hanrahan     (Photo ID #29341)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Abutilon theophrasti
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Velvet-leaf in an introduced species in North America that originates in China and was introduced to the New World before 1750 as a potential fiber crop. It is now found across the continental US and in all southern Canadian provinces except Labrador (USDA 2011). Previously known only from the Fraser Valley in BC, it now found in several locations beyond that region.

Species Information

Annual from a taproot; stems erect, several, branched, soft-hairy with star-shaped hairs, 1-2 m tall.
Alternate, heart-shaped, 10-20 cm wide, tapering to concave points, densely hairy to woolly, the hairs star-shaped; stalks 10-20 cm long.
Inflorescence of solitary, axillary flowers on stalks 2-3 cm long; petals 5, yellow, 6-8 mm long; calyces 5-lobed, the lobes pointed.
Carpels, usually 10-15, densely hairy with horizontally spreading beaks, the beaks 3-5 mm long; seeds 2-9.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Mesic fields and waste places in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC, known only from the lower Fraser Valley; introduced from Asia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Abutilon abutilon (L.) Rusby
Abutilon avicennae Gaertn.