Verbascum thapsus ‘Common Mullein’
Several Verbascum species with more attractive leaves or flowers are prized garden ornamentals, but the species best-known among wildflower enthusiasts and herbalists is the homely but useful common mullein, Verbascum thapsus. This versatile, fuzzy mullein is a gardener’s friend, an herbalist’s delight and an engineering marvel all on its own.
First-year plants form a rosette of large, velvety leaves up to 30cm (12in) long. In the second year, a velvety flower spike grows 4 to 8 feet tall.
The stalk has alternate leaves that clasp the stem, a nifty arrangement that directs rainwater down the stem to the roots.
From June to September, five-petalled yellow flowers bloom randomly in the dense, club-shaped terminal cluster. The three upper stamens, which are short and woolly, contain a sap that lures many insects, including bees and butterflies to the plant. The two lower stamens, which are longer and smooth, produce the pollen that fertilizes the flower.
This delicate pale yellow verbascum thrives in poor, well-drained soil and is perfect for a sunny border or cottage garden.
- 1,350 Seeds