#394 Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti)

03 April 2021

An annual plant in the family Malvaceae, native to southern Asia. Its specific epithet theophrasti commemorates the ancient Greek botanist-philosopher Theophrastus. Abutilon theophrasti is the type species of the genus Abutilon.

In reproduction of velvetleaf, the seeds can produce between 700 and 44,200 per one plant. The seeds take 17–22 days to mature once pollinated. Seeds can remain useful ~50 years when stored in a dry location or in the soil. In order to disperse the seeds for reproduction, each carpel in the plant is opened with a vertical slit along the outer edge. For successful germination of the seeds, the temperature must range between 24-30 °C. Due to the dry climate and high evaporation growth, Velvetleaf is unable to grow in the meadows of North America. In order for Velvetleaf to grow, the soil ranges from gray-brown podzols and sandy to clay loams. Ideal soil pH for velvetleaf is between 6.1 and 7.8, depending on location.

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