Fact Sheet

ALERT SPP This Plant is on high alert.


Latin Name: Abutilon theophrasti

Origin:  Asia

Physical Description: It is an annual from a taproot and belongs to the Mallow family. Plants produce several erect stems that can grow up to 2m tall and are covered in smooth velvet-like hairs. The leaves are densely covered with short, soft, simple hairs and star-shaped hairs, have long stalks that are about 4 to 10–20 cm long, and are alternate to one another along the stem. The yellow flowers have 4 petals that are fused at the base and are found singly or in clusters where the leaf stalk meets the stem.  Plants have a distinct odor when crushed.

Habitat: Prefers mesic conditions and often found in wastelands, vacant lots, gardens, orchards, vineyards, and along roadsides.

Impacts: It can be a very competitive plant and is well-documented in reducing yields of cotton, corn and soybean.   It will also grow in sugar beets, dry beans, alfalfa, tobacco and peanuts crops.

Reproduction:  It reproduces by seed only. Plants can produce 700 to 17,000 seeds per plant and can remain viable in the soil for up to 50 years.

Management Options

Mechanical: Hand pulling small infestations, before flowering, can be successful. For larger infestations, cutting or mowing plants after flowering but before seed-set should eliminate the current year seed production. Cultivation is effective if controlled before seed pod production.

Chemical: Several herbicides with the following active ingredients can control Velvet leaf: 2,4-D and dicamba. For available products, contact your local agri-supply store. Prior to any herbicide application, read and follow the label instructions.

Biological: Not available

Additional Resources:

Province of BC Invasive Species Alert-Velvetleaf

Scroll to Top