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Abutilon theophrasti

Description from Flora of China

Sida abutilon Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 685. 1753; Abutilon avicennae Gaertner, nom. illeg. superfl.; A. avicennae var. chinense Skvortsov; A. avicennae f. nigrum Skvortsov; A. californicum Bentham; A. pubescens Moench; A. theophrasti var. chinense (Skvortsov) S. Y. Hu; A. theophrasti var. nigrum (Skvortsov) S. Y. Hu; A. tiliifolium (Fischer) Sweet; S. tiliifolia Fischer.

Herbs subshrublike, annual, 1-2 m tall. Petiole 3-12 cm, stellate hairy; leaf blade orbicular-cordate, 5-10 cm in diam., both surfaces densely stellate pubescent, base cordate, margin minutely crenate, apex long acuminate. Flowers solitary, axillary, yellow. Pedicel 1-3 cm, pubescent, articulate near apex. Calyx cup-shaped, densely puberulent, lobes 5, ovate, ca. 6 mm. Corolla uniformly yellow; petals obovate, ca. 1 cm. Filament tube glabrous. Ovary 15-20-loculed, 1-1.5 cm, densely pubescent, apex truncate. Capsule semiglobose, ca. 1.2 × 2 cm; mericarps 15-20, stellate pilose, apex 2-awned, awns spreading, 3-5 mm, hairy. Seed reniform, brown, stellate puberulent. Fl. Jul-Aug.

Abutilon theophrasti is extensively cultivated for its bast fibers, which are used to make string, rope, shoes, rugs, and countless other items; it is also used medicinally for fever, dysentery, and stomachaches. The fiber is known as "China Jute" or "Tientsin Jute."

Disturbed areas, neglected fields, also cultivated. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan [India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam; Africa, SW Asia, Australia, Europe, North America].


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