An Alameda Garden: Mystery Plant Identified

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mystery Plant Identified

After seeing the little yellow blossoms on my mystery plant, I couldn't help but think that it looked an awful lot like an abutilon. So I did a little Internet surfing and I think I finally have a name: Abutilon theophrasti (common name: Velvetleaf). Most of the sources I found identify it as a noxious weed in many parts of the country, particulary in cornfields where it steals water and nutrients away from the corn. But others indicated that, although it can reseed freely, if you collect the seedpods you can control it.

So now the question is: Do I yank it, re-locate it, or just leave it?


  1. Oh I love stowaways... my vote is to leave it! If you're really concerned about spread, just deadhead once it's done flowering... My gardens culture dandelions among the veggies and flowerbeds... I like the variety!

    Great job on the identification - don't you just love the mystery plants?

  2. leave it, and look at the pretty flowers and leaves.Good job ID'ing the mystery plant.
    My mon lam is sage i think, and my mystery apple seedling is likely a woody weed that grows in the house's redbrick.
    The only mstery plant i have is growing from a hazlenut type seed.

  3. Yank it!

    "Seeds can remain viable in soil for 50 years. If infestations are allowed to persist and produce seed, this weed can be troublesome." -- UC IPM

  4. Angela, thanks for the link to the UC IPM site. I didn't know about this site and it looks very useful. In the end, I did yank it. It was not beautiful enough to justify the threat.


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