Abutilon theophrasti

A naturalized plant with velvety heart-shaped leaves and yellow flowers often found in open fields

Abutilon theophrasti velvetleaf

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneously

This member of the mallow family is not native to North America, but came from China or India and has widely naturalized throughout North America except Newfoundland. It has very large (4-10 inch), velvety, heart-shaped leaves. The mallow-like flower is yellow and is 1 to 1 ½ inches wide. These flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils and have five petals. The stamens are numerous forming a tube-like structure.

The plant grows to a height of 3-5 feet and is found on waste ground and in fields. It blooms from July to October. The distinctive fruit is beaked and the sides resemble the crimped edges of a piecrust. This gives it the alternate common name of pie-maker.

A fiber called China jute can be obtained from the stem and has been used to make rugs and the plant is sometimes given this common name. The leaves are edible, either stir=fried or in an omelet. In North America, it is considered an aggressive weed, especially in cornfields, where it can reduce crop yields.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

A frequent weed of cultivated fields, and waste ground.

Mostly grows in the south and some in the northern counties.

Wetland codes

Flowers July to early October.

Abutilon theophrasti velvetleaf

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneously
Abutilon theophrasti gallery
Plant Life-Form
annual forb