Common mullein

(Verbascum thapsus)

Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a biennial forb native to Europe and Asia. The first year of the plant it produces a basal rosette. Basal rosettes can grow to 30 inches in diameter. The leaves are light-green in color and are covered in fine soft hairs. The woolly leaves are alternate and overlapping each other and can grow over a foot long. In spring of the second year the plant bolts an erect stem, that grows 2 to 6 feet tall. The flowers of the plant are borne in terminal spikes. These terminal spikes may reach up to 20 inches in length. The flowers are sulfur-yellow in color and have five petals. The flowers range from 3/4 of an inch to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Numerous two chambered fruits produce 100,000 to 250,000 seeds per plant. Flowering and seed production typical occur from June to August. The plant has a deep taproot along with a fiberous root system.

Common mullein Fact Sheet