Great Mullein


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide

Great Mullein
Great Mullein
(Verbascum thapsus)
a.k.a. common mullein, hedge taper, torch
Great Mullein is a biennial herb belonging to the aster family. It can reach up to 2 metres in height. The stalks will stand all winter long and the plant is covered with hairs.

LEAVES:
- Great Mullein leaves can be up to 45 cm. long
- alternate on stem, becoming smaller farther along the stem; eventually lacking a stalk completely
- coarse, flannel-like
- the base of the leaf form long ribs
- are broader at the base and more tapered as progress up stalk
- cover the entire stalk at the top
FLOWERS:
- yellow, sometimes whitish
- 1-3 cm. in size, primarily stalkless, 5 petals or lobes and 5 yellow stamens
- pleasant odour
- bloom June through August
- are sporadic along the stalk
FRUIT:
- egg-shaped capsules with numerous small seeds
HABITAT:
- Great Mullein is found in dry areas such as roadsides and fields
- Great Mullein can survive even in poor soil
- Great Mullein appear at low elevations in southern BC
FASCINATING FACTS:
- Great Mullein was introduced from Europe it is now found throughout much of North America
- the leaves have been smoked by indigenous peoples
- this plant is popular in herbal medicine for a variety of uses

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Great Mullein