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Abutilon theophrasti Medic.
Mallow Family
Key identifying traits
Large (3-8 inch wide) heart shaped leaves grow
alternately on long slender stalks
Entire plant is soft with short velvety hairs
Yellow to yellow-orange 5-petal flowers; ½-1 inch
wide, solitary generally in upper leaf axils
1-8 feet tall, rather linear in appearance with
branching occurring in upper portion of plant
Distinctive circular cluster of 12-15 seed pods
produce purplish brown, kidney shaped seeds
Biology and ecology
 Tap rooted, summer annual reproducing by seed
 Does not tolerate frost
 700-17,000 hard-coated seeds per plant remain
viable when buried for more than 50 years
 Native to Asia where fiber is used to make rope,
bags, nets and paper-introduced in North America
in 1700’s as a potential fiber crop
 Serious row crop (corn/soybeans) weed in the
 Found infrequently in gardens, along fencelines
and roadsides throughout Washington
 Leaves are horizontal by day, changing to nearly
vertical at night
Prevention – Learn to identify plants; know your
property; beware of contaminated vegetable seeds
and feed screenings
Biological – Some active in mid-West
Cultural – Healthy established vegetation helps, but
plants can produce seed under shade of a cover crop
Mechanical – Pulling, digging and cultivating prior to
bloom will kill plants; burn plants with seed pods-even
immature pods will ripen after cutting
Chemical – Several are reported to control the plant
but no specific data available in Pacific Northwest
Where found – Known to occur only as single plants found in gardens in Stevens County
Created by Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board, April 2000