Date of this Version



© 1983, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide provides guidelines on how to control velvetleaf by prevention, cultural and mechanical methods, and by use of recommended herbicides.

Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medic.), a member of the Mallow family, is related to cotton, hollyhocks, and numerous weeds. Other common names include buttonweed, Indian mallow, butterprint, piemarker, velvetweed, and cottonweed. The preferred name, velvetleaf, amply describes its velvety-textured, hairy-surfaced leaves.

A native of China and presumably introduced into the U.S. from India as a fiber crop, this annual weed is adapted to cropland throughout most of the United States. Over the past 10 years, velvetleaf has increased dramatically in Nebraska and is now considered one of our most troublesome weeds.