Weed or flower

Asked August 2, 2013, 11:10 AM EDT

What is this plant? It has cropped up in six different locations for the first time this year. It reminds me a little of sunflower foliage but I didn't plant any this year!

Sussex County Delaware

1 Response

This plant is a summer annual weed called Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medicus). Reproduction is by seed. Since it is an annual the plants will die as we enter winter. However, you don't want to leave the plant in your landscape to flower and go to seed, one plant can produce hundreds of seeds. Cut the plants down. Continue to monitor and cut down any plants that re-sprout.

To aid in identification, this website has pictures of the plant at various stages of growth: http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/abuth.htm