Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hairy Crabweed, Mulberry Weed
Fatoua villosa

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Fatoua
Species: villosa (vil-OH-suh) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By lwhalliday
Thumbnail #1 of Fatoua villosa by lwhalliday

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By vossner
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By vossner
Thumbnail #7 of Fatoua villosa by vossner

There are a total of 9 photos.
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No positives
No neutrals
7 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coadydog On Jun 9, 2011, coadydog from Simpsonville, SC wrote:

This plant grows like wild fire in my mulch beads. I hate it!! Be careful if you try to cut it back with a weedeater/weedwacker. I did this two weeks ago and got it on my legs and arms. Within a few days I broke out in a terrible rash that itched like you wouldn't believe.

Negative gludington On May 23, 2011, gludington from Dunkirk, MD wrote:

Arrived in a batch of bad mulch three years ago and I've been yanking it out ever since (grrrrr!) Only thing I've found that really works is starving it of light, i.e. 2-3 inches of mulch wherever it pops up. Each plant will generate hundreds of seeds, so cover or pull BEFORE it generates seed, which is when it's a two-leaf tiny seedling. Grows anywhere, in any soil. My heartfelt sympathy to those who've had the misfortune to get stuck with this horrible little plant. . .

Negative chuckssite On Sep 20, 2010, chuckssite from Powhatan, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is NOT a plant to purposely grow. It is a very invasive weed! Apparently, it comes in nursery stock and spreads quickly to where it takes over any beds and disturbed ground and even tries to grow in parts of the lawn. I noticed it a few years ago in a small patch, and now it has spread to beds on three sides of my house and in another bed removed from the house area. I could not id this weed in any of my 5 weed/wildflower books and finally got the Weed ID dept. at Virginia Tech to do so. You can pull out the weeds several times during a summer, and it keeps on returning. Because it grows around good plants, I think it will take some creative application of herbicides, but I'm going to start early next spring when plants are small. Please don't even think of obtaining this plant - you'll be very sorry! Chuck in Powhatan, VA

Negative alfu On Jun 29, 2010, alfu from Gainesville, FL wrote:

Extremely invasive. Location indicates it came in a packet of wildflower seeds sown in the garden by my landlady. The roots of some of the plants growing in sunnier locations have nodules -- they may be nitrogen fixing.

Negative vossner On Jul 1, 2009, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I hate, hate, hate this weed. Took me a long time to get it identified. It is ugly, it is persistent, but it is easy to remove (if you have hours and hours for this task).

Seems to really thrive in moist areas or during rainy season. Doesn't seem to damage nearby plants but I hate it just the same.

Negative cedar18 On Mar 26, 2009, cedar18 from Lula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

At first, I thought these were wildly hardy Lantana seedlings since that annual bed is where I first spotted them. They appeared here a few years ago. After reading the original entry here, I"m guessing mine must have come in the same way: mulch, which I buy in truckloads.

Negative lwhalliday On Sep 21, 2006, lwhalliday from Pittsboro, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

This stuff comes up everywhere! Even after pulling it up by the roots, it comes back. It was apparently introduced into my gardens in mulch, as those are the only places it appears, but it's extremely difficult to eradicate, in my experience. The leaves and stems are hairy, and it sticks to clothing and gardening gloves, hence my own nickname for it - "velcro plant".


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Pelham, Alabama
Gainesville, Florida
Lula, Georgia
Dunkirk, Maryland
Starkville, Mississippi
Princeton, New Jersey
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Houston, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Powhatan, Virginia

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