- Common name: velvetleaf
- Scientific name: abutilon theophrasti1
- Grass or broadleaf: large-seeded broadleaf
- Found in 48 U.S. states (not found in Alaska or Hawaii)1
- Germination timing: summer annual
- Competitiveness: Velvetleaf can be competitive in corn and soybeans due to the rapid and robust growth pattern of the plant. An individual mature plant can shade out 1 to 2 square feet of soil, closing the canopy and blocking sunlight crops need. If sunlight is restricted, corn and soybean yield can greatly diminish, according to Eric Scherder, Ph.D., field scientist, Dow AgroSciences.
- Studies have shown that when velvetleaf emerges at the same time as soybeans at a density of one plant per foot of soybean row, a 14 to 27 percent yield reduction can occur.2
Fast facts from Dave Hilger, Enlist™ field specialist, Ph.D., Dow AgroSciences:
- Velvetleaf has numerous seed reserves that can remain dormant for years. As a result, velvetleaf can germinate throughout the season and is known to make a late-summer appearance in row crop systems.
- Left uncontrolled, velvetleaf can grow up to 10 feet tall.
- There are cases of atrazine-resistant velvetleaf in the Midwest, which can make it difficult to control in cornfields.
- Velvetleaf is easy to identify with heart-shaped cotyledons and leaf patterns. The plants also have a high number of fine hairs that feel velvety to the touch.
- Velvetleaf is often referred to as “buttonweed” because the seed head looks similar to a button.
According to WeedScience.org, the following states have reported herbicide-resistant velvetleaf in cropland, corn and soybean fields:
- Herbicide classes
- Photosystem II inhibitors
- MD, MI, MN, WI
- Photosystem II inhibitors
*Resistance confirmation does not necessarily include all weeds and may vary among different areas of each state.
Weed management tips:
- Velvetleaf has a high level of calcium relative to other weed species, which can make it difficult to control if herbicides are used at less than optimum rates. The presence of calcium in or on the leaf surface can result in inactive herbicide applications.
- Follow label directions and rates to not only understand what effective rate is needed to control velvetleaf, but also to determine potential adjuvants or tank-mix partners that may be needed to improve efficacy and herbicide performance.
- If planting Enlist™ crops, use a program approach with a preemergence herbicide such as Sonic® soybean herbicide or Resicore® corn herbicide followed by a postemergence application of Enlist Duo® herbicide to effectively control velvetleaf for the duration of the season.
Dow AgroSciences weed control solutions:
SureStart® II herbicide
Keystone® NXT herbicide
Keystone® LA NXT herbicide
FulTime® NXT herbicide
Surpass® NXT herbicide
Durango® DMA® herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist™ weed control system
More information can be found through these weed science resources: