Velvetleaf: Abutilon theophrasti

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I found these plants growing in my ? garden, a wild type of garden, I like green and variety of plants. I wondered what they were, the leaves felt like velvet, and did a search for heart shaped velvety leaves, and low and behold they were identified. I took photos and here they are.

To enlarge click on image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abutilon_theophrasti http://www.ehow.com/info_8112921_uses-abutilon-theophrasti.html

http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/abuth.htm

I found this interesting about this plant:

 Fiber: The plant prefers well-drained alkaline soil. It grows to about 3 feet tall, flowering from July to August. Fiber obtained from the stems of velvetleaf is strong and flexible, and can be used to make ropes, rustic fabrics, carpets and papers. Widely cultivated in China and Russia, velvetleaf is more disease-resistant than jute (Corchorus spp) and can absorb a variety of dyes.

Medicinal Use: A infusion made with the leaves of velvetleaf has been used in Asia for centuries to treat conditions such as dysentery and fever. The leaves contain rutin, which has pain-relieving properties. A dried root infusion was used in the treatment of dysentery, as well as urinary incontinence. The seed is often powdered and used to treat stomach aches. However, as of 2011, there is little irrefutable scientific research on the curative properties of the plant.

 

 
Plant Identification: Yellow Flowers With Large Leaves
Growing Abutilon:
It is more disease-resistant than jute (Corchorus spp) and can absorb a variety of dyes.
Medicinal Use

A infusion made with the leaves of velvetleaf has been used in Asia for centuries to treat conditions such as dysentery and fever. The leaves contain rutin, which has pain-relieving properties. A dried root infusion was used in the treatment of dysentery, as well as urinary incontinence. The seed is often powdered and used to treat stomach aches. However, as of 2011, there is little irrefutable scientific research on the curative properties of the plant.




Food

Seeds can be consumed cooked or raw, when they are under-ripe. The ripe seed is dried and later ground to make soups and bread but it has to be washed to remove any trace of bitterness. The seed's nutritional composition is about 17.4 percent protein, 16 percent fat, 33.8 percent carbohydrate and 4.4 percent ash.
Decoration

In the U.S., the immature and exquisitely-shaped fruits of velvetleaf were used in the 18th century to decorate pies and butter slabs. The small star-shaped fruits were pressed against the pie before baking to create patterns. The dried fruits can also be used with paint in arts and crafts projects, to create patterns on papers; or as three-dimensional decorative components on photo frames and greeting cards.

 

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