by Stephen Mifsud
   27 May 2020      ()
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Abutilon theophrasti   (Velvetleaf)

Abutilon theophrasti   (MALVACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Abutilon theophrasti retrieved from on 2020-May-27

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Abutilon theophrasti Medicus
Published in Kunstl. Geschl. Malv.-Fam. 28 (1787)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Abutilon avicennae
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Malvaceae Juss. (The Mallow Family)
18 species from the Malvaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Velvetleaf, China Jute, Butterprint

Maltese name(s) :

Maltese name not known

Status for Malta :

Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 and spreads to form established, non-invasive populations. It may become become invasive

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE (annuals)
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Cultivated ground and waste places.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Botanical Description:

Erect annual 50-100 cm, the younger parts tomentose, the older pubescent with simple and stellate hairs. Leaves up to 15 cm, long-petiolate, cordate-orbicular, acuminate, slightly crenate. Flowers in small cymes in axils of upper leaves; peduncles shorter than petioles. Sepals united in lower half; petals 7-13 mm, yellow. Mericarps c. 13, exceeding the calyx, black, hirsute, with a slender, erecto-patent beak. Seeds finely tuberculate.

Distributional range:

S.E. Europe and Mediterranean region, extending to C. Russia and S. Czechoslovakia, but probably introduced in the western and northern parts of its range.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Albania, Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, Greece, Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Romania, Russia and former USSR, C W K E Introduced in  Czeck Republic and Slovakia, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Portugal

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

Ab(A) AE Ag dAl Ar BH Bu Cg ?Cr Ct Eg Gg(A G) Gr It Mk Mo Rf(C CS E S) Rm Sa Si(S) Sn Tu(A E) -Uk(K) [Az(F) -Bl By aCo Cs Es nGa(F) Ge Ho nHs Hs(S) Hu nIJ Ir La Lt nLu aMa Rf(K N NW) nSi(M) Sk Sl Sr aTn]

Images (3 images)
   Abutilon theophrasti   -   Image Code: ABUTP-0.
   Abutilon theophrasti   -   Image Code: ABUTP-1.
   Abutilon theophrasti   -   Image Code: ABUTP-2.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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