Common Mullein
Verbascum thapsus
Family Scrophulariaceae

* Flower head club-like, pale green, covered on all sides with yellow flowers.
* Leaves large, pale green, with a soft flannel-like texture, clasping the stem.
* Height: 2-6'.

Natural History:
* Flowers June - September.
* Habitat: Roadsides, poorly drained meadows, waste places.
* Range: Nearly throughout.
* Introduced from Europe.

* The candle-like spikes of mullein were once used, actually, as candles. In 1657, naturalist William Cole wrote that, "The elder age used the stalks dipped in suet to burn, whether at funerals or for private use." Miners in the American west also burned mullein stalks.

* Mullein leaves have been used for various medicinal purposes, such as curing dysentery, coughs, and gout, and as a narcotic to induce sleep.

* The word "mullein" comes from the Middle English moleyne and the Old French moleine, and originally from the Latin mollis, meaning 'soft' and referring to the leaves.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008