Great Mullein

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Great mullein

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Scientific name: Verbascum thapsus
Great mullein is an impressive, tall plant of waste ground, roadside verges and gardens. Its candle-like flower spikes rise from rosettes of furry, silver-green leaves.

Top facts


Height: up to 2m

Conservation status


When to see

June to August


The yellow, candle-like flower spikes of Great mullein can reach up to 2m in height, making this an impressive plant of dry and grassy ground, including gardens, waste ground and roadside verges. It is a biennial, spending its first year as a rosette of furry leaves, and producing its flowers in its second year, between June and August.

What to look for

The grey-green, oval, leaves of Great mullein are covered in woolly hairs and appear in whorls around the tall stems. The flower spike appears at the top of the stem - the flowers themselves are small, but they form dense, yellow clusters around the spike.

Where to find


Did you know?

Great mullein is the foodplant of the Mullein moth; an inconspicuous adult, the larvae are yellow- and black-spotted caterpillars that can be found from May to July.