Abutilon theophrasti - Medik.
Velvetleaf
Other Common Names: velvetleaf
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Abutilon theophrasti Medik. (TSN 21674)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.137892
Element Code: PDMAL020N0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mallow Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Malvales Malvaceae Abutilon
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Abutilon theophrasti
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (22Mar1994)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Saskatchewan (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, ARexotic, AZexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GAexotic, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: One of the worst agricultural weeds in North America but probably not having a major impact on native biodiversity in most areas. However, native plants surviving in trailside/roadside and right-of-way remnants could be impacted.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: High/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 01Mar2004
Evaluator: Maybury, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Southern Asia (India).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: No known impacts.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Insignificant
Comments: This is a summer annual that primarily invades annual crop fields and highly disturbed sites.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Not usually found growing with an abundance of native species, but in places where that does occur, Abutilon theophrasti could potentially outcompete many natives.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Leaves and seeds have allelopathic effects that inhibit the germination and growth of crop plants (Colton and Einhellig 1980), so allelopathy could presumably affect native species as well.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Primarily a plant of crop fields (mostly soybean, corn, and cotton), as well as feed lots, waste areas, roadsides (e.g., Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2000).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Extremely widespread; established in all states except Alaska and Hawaii (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:High/Moderate significance
Comments: The proportion of the range in which this species impacts native biodiversity is difficult to assess since most of the available information is focused on agricultural impacts. Minor impacts on natives (along trails, roadsides, rights-of-way) are likely in most places.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Natural ecological habitats are hard to assess given that this is a species of highly disturbed places.

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Low significance
Comments: Overall range probably stable; will not produce seeds in Alaska (Warwick and Black 1988).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Insignificant
Comments: Most potential range probably already occupied. Holt and Boose (2000) indicate that the species is no longer expanding its range in California as all habitats moist enough for this summer annual species to persist have been occupied. A similar situation probably exists in states like WY and UT where the speices is sparingly distributed (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2000). Already widely distributed in much of the rest of the lower 48.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Contaminated seeds, manure, contaminated cattle, etc.

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Likely expanding locally, at least in some areas, with greater disturbance.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: Primarily an agricultural weed.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Several sources mention that this has also escaped in Europe, Canada, but not in habitats it hasn't already invaded in the U.S.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Seeds are viable in the soil for 50 to 60 years (Roeth et al. 1983 as cited in Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2000). Exibits very rapid growth (Regnier et al. 1988 as cited in Holt and Boose 2000). Self-fertile (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2000).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: High/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:High/Low significance
Comments: Once established, cultural/mechanical or herbicide methods must be ongoing.

18. Minimum Time Commitment:High significance
Comments: Time involved assumed to be long because of seed banking abilities.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Unknown

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High significance
Comments: Invaded on private lands in all areas.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Colton, C. E. and F. A. Einhellig. 1980. Allelopathic mechanisms of velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medic., Malvaceae) on soybean. American Journal of Botany 67(10): 1407-1413.

  • Holt, J. S. and A. B. Boose. 2000. Potential spread of Abutilon theophrasti in California. Weed Science 48: 43-52.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Warwick, S. I., and L. D. Black. 1988. The biology of Canadian weeds: Abutilon theophrasti. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 68: 1069-1985.

  • Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. 2000. Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medic.): Writen findings updated February 2000. Available online at: http:www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed info/velvetleaf.html. Accessed 2004.

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