Mullein. Verbascum thapsus L.

Figure 79.—Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Other Common Names

Common mullein, great mullein, mullein dock, velvet dock, Aaron's-rod. Adam's-flannel, old-man's-flannel, blanket leaf, bullock's lungwort, cow's lungwort, clown's lungwort, candlewick, feltwort, flannel-leaf, hare's-beard, velvet plant.

Habitat And Range

Mullein is a weed found in fields, pastures, along roadsides, and in waste places, its range extending from Maine to Minnesota and southward. It is also spreading in the Western States.


This plant is easily recognized by its tall, straight stem, its large felty or flannellike leaves, and its long, dense spike of yellow flowers. During the first year it produces only a rosette of downy leaves followed from June to August of the second year by the long flowering stalk. The densely hairy, erect stem sometimes reaches a height of 7 feet. The thick, felty leaves are from 4 to 6 inches in length and, with the exception of the basal ones, are stemless.

Part Used

The flowers and leaves, the former collected when fully opened.