BugwoodWiki Article

Abutilon theophrasti Medik


  • 1Overview
    • 1.1Appearance
      • 1.1.1Foliage
      • 1.1.2Flowers
      • 1.1.3Fruit
      • 1.1.4Ecological Threat
    • 1.2Herbicide Resistance



Abutilon theophrasti is an erect annual herb with a shrub like growth habit. They can reach 7 ft. (2.1 m) in height and are often unbranched. Stems are erect and covered with soft hairs. The plant’s taproots have fibrous root systems.


Leaves are alternate, heart-shaped, and acuminate (gradually tapering to a point). Leaves are approximately 2-6 in. (5.1-15.2 cm) long and wide. They are densely hairy on both surfaces, with toothed margins. Leaves have palmate venation (veins originate from a common point). The leaves emit an unpleasant odor when crushed.


Flowers can be found singly or in clusters. They are yellow with 5 petals and 0.4-1 in. (1-2.5 cm) in diameter. Flowering occurs from July through August


Abutilon theophrasti fruit is a circular capsule fruit about 1 in. (2.5 cm) in diameter. Each capsule contains a ring of 'prickles' around the upper edge. Fruits contain 2 to 3 seeds each.

Ecological Threat[edit]

Abutilon theophrasti is a native of China. Cultivated as a source of fiber and oil; it has escaped cultivation invading orchards, cotton, corn, soybeans, and vegetable fields causing serious damage. Abutilon theophrasti seeds can remain viable in the soil for over 50 years. It is especially invasive in disturbed habitats. It is found across the United States.

Herbicide Resistance[edit]

Populations of this plant exist in the United States that are resistant to Photosystem II inhibitors (C1/5)


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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Most Troublesome and Common Weeds
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Abutilon

Other System Links

Plants: ABTH
Bayer: ABUTH
GRIN: 757
ITIS: 21674
NPDN Host: 31741

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
butterprint, buttonweed, Indian mallow, velvetleaf Indian mallow, pie-maker


Category: Forbs/Herbs