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*Fatoua villosa (Thunberg) Nakai. Crabweed, Mulberry-weed, Foolish-weed. Phen: Jul-Nov. Hab: Disturbed areas, vegetable and flower gardens, landscaped areas around institutional buildings. Dist: Native of Asia (apparently se. Asian islands). As discussed by Massey (1975) and Vincent (2004), Fatoua was first reported in the United States (Louisiana) in the early 1960s. As of 2004, its distribution in North America had spread to include 28 states and the District of Columbia, including most states except the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains (Vincent 2004, Sundell et al. 1999, Miller & Wood 2003). Since all early collections seem to be in and around greenhouses and nurseries, it is likely that it has been introduced in horticultural material, perhaps repeatedly (Kral 1981b). Fatoua appears to have become a fairly aggressive weed in eastern North America. It can be expected to continue to spread, and has the potential to become noxious.

ID notes:Fatoua villosa has alternate, ovate leaves with cordate bases, borne on long petioles (about as long as the leaf blade), the inflorescences are dense cymes borne on peduncles in the axils of leaves. Pubescence of the stem and foliage is uncinulate, giving the plant a "tacky" feel. An excellent illustration appears in Correll & Correll (1982).

Origin/Endemic status: E. and se. Asia

Synonymy: = Ar, Bah, FNA3, Il, K1, K3, K4, Mi, NcTx, NE, NY, Va, WH3, Massey (1975), Vincent (2004); = n/a – C, F, G, Pa, RAB, Tat

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACU
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FAC
  • Great Plains: FAC
  • Midwest: FAC
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FAC

Heliophily: 6

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷


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