The velvetleaf is a non-native invasive species that was brought to America in the 1700s to be grown and used as a fiberous rope substitute with mild success. The plant was then abandoned for such uses as other, better options were available.
Each uniquely shaped seedpod is comprised of 12 - 15 slots holding 1-3 seeds each, with it being a self-pollinating species able to produce this many seeds it quickly spread across America.
The seeds, while unripe, are edible and taste similar to sunflower seeds. Upon ripening the seeds should be leeched of their bitterness and can then be ground into flower.
If you happen to be in nature and nature is calling, the leaves of the velvetleaf can be used as a toilet paper substitute!
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.