giant mullein

Verbascum thapsus

The warmth of this summer has helped this golden plant to produce a most spectacular flower head this year.

I bought the parent about three years ago and after it flowered, the plant disappeared from the garden and I though that was the end of it. I have been reading about it in Wikipedia and discovered that the seeds can remain dormant in the soil for many years. Last year basal rosettes began to grow at various points around the garden and on the drive and although they are really in the way when I mow the lawn, I left them. This spring the flower spikes emerged and grew, and grew and grew like the beanstalk that Jack climbed. Now covered in golden flowers, one has leaned against the pear tree and has reached a height of about eight feet.

Depending on where you are in the world, mullein is a pest or a pleasure. Where it has been taken from Europe to the New World, it is a weed, readily colonising dry sunny sites. In its home range, it is the source of herbal remedies and dyes. As well as wonder and delight. Thanks for the heght comparison VP!

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4 thoughts on “giant mullein

  1. That’s a very well placed flower hiding my identity there Threadspider! Have a great weekend and see you next week 🙂

  2. I love verbascum, your one is a truly amazing specimen. Funny you should say about seeds lying dormant for years. Quite a few years back I bought a Verbascum bombyciferum from B&Q and I must declare it was rather a monstrous thug in my garden, so I wasn’t too sorry to see it disappear. Anyway this year a new seedling has appeared, and of course it has germinated in the most inappropriate place possible. I have a dilemma, where am I going to move it, or will it become a gift to a willing recipient with an acre of spare ground going spare! x

  3. It’s amazing to see how high Mullein grows there. I haven’t had much luck with it here, unlike in Ottawa where it grew well (but not quiute so tall). I love the idea that new plants sprout up like they do … little (or should I say big!) happy surprises.

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