Mullein, or Verbascum, L. a genus of plants, comprising 17 species, five of which are indigenous : the principal of these are :
1. The Thapsus, GreatWhitb Mullein, High TapeR, Cow's-lungwort, or Ladies' Foxglove; growing on chalky and gravelly soils, and on dry ditch-banks ; flowering in the month of July.- Hochheimer informs us that the roots, stalks, and flowers of this plant, after being properly cleaned of the adhering earth, and other impurities, have long been used in German granaries, where bundles of it are placed in every corner, and on the grain itself, in order to prevent the depredations of mice. It affords so complete a security from these vermin, even in bams, that they suddenly disappear, and shun the place lor several years after this vegetable has been deposited. - According to Bechstein, the root of the Great Mulleiu, reduced to powder, and mixed with malt-meal, speedily fattens capons and chickens.-The herb, in a dry and pulverized state, corrodes the fungous flesh of ulcers ; and, if applied while fresh, heals the wounds in the foot of a horse, occasioned by improper shoeing. - The flower of this, and the following species of the Mullein, impart a delicate, though not durable, yellow-colour, to wool and cotton; but, on the addition of blue, these stuffs acquire a blue shade of incomparable lustre.- The woody stalks covered with pitch, make excellent flambeaus.— The seeds, when thrown into water inhabited by fish, produce an intoxicating effect, so that these creatures suffer themselves to be caught by the hand. - In Norway, the fanners give the herb medicinally to their cows, when threatened with consumption ; and employ its downy fibres as a substitute for tinder.—Neither cows, goats, sheep, horses, nor swine, will eat this vegetable.
2. The nigrum, DaRk, or Black Mullein, which grows in hedges, and on road-sides ; is perennial ; and flowers from July to September.This plant is justly admired for its beauty ; the stem is covered with hairs elegantly branched, and has yellow blossoms tipped with purple :- Bees visit its flowers, which to them are exceedingly grateful. - Swine eat the plant; but it is neither relished by sheep, nor touched by cows, horses or goats.