BugwoodWiki Article

common mullein
Verbascum thapsus L.

Overview

Appearance
Verbascum thapsus is a biennial forb native to Eurasia and Africa. Plants are unbranched and can grow to more than 6.6 ft. (2 m) tall.
Foliage
First year plants develop as a basal rosette of felt-like leaves. Basal leaves are 4-12 in. (10.2-30.5 cm) long, 1-5 in. (2.5-12.7 cm) wide and covered with woolly hairs. Cauline (stem) leaves are decurrently alternate and decrease in size towards the apex.
Flowers
The plant bolts in the second year. Flowering occurs in June to August, when five-petaled, yellow flowers develop at the apex of the shoot. Plants die after flowering.
Fruit
The fruit is a ovoid capsule that splits, releasing 100,000 to 180,000 seeds from the parent plant, that germinate in water.
Ecological Threat
Once established it grows quickly to form a dense ground cover. It can overtake and displace native species. At the high densities, it appears to prevent establishment of native herbs and grasses following fires or other disturbances. Verbascum thapsus occurs in areas with an average annual precipitation of 20-60 in. (0.5-1.5 m) and a 140-day growing season. It prefers well-drained soils with pH 6.5 to 7.8. It prefers dry sandy soils but can grow in chalk and limestone. It can be found in neglected meadows, forest openings, pastures, fence rows, roadsides, and industrial areas.

Resources

Image Sets
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Maps


EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Verbascum

Other System Links

Plants: VETH
Bayer: VESTH
GRIN: 41150
ITIS: 33394
NPDN Pest: PEUAOBD
NPDN Host: 31550

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
big taper, flannel mullein, flannel plant, great mullein, mullein, velvet dock, velvet plant, woolly mullein

Categories

Category: Forbs/Herbs