Friday, July 2, 2010

What the heck is it?

Okay, okay. I know it's a dad burned mullein. But which one? There are hundreds of I know its not V. olympicum--for one thing its leaves are green. It's perennial and seems to grow just about anywhere: sun or shade, wet or dry. It came years ago from a German botanic garden, maybe Berlin Dahlem...they had dozens of species and I tried a slew of them and this is the one that has winnowed out and remained, losing its name tag in the process. In the first picture it's cavorting with Linum narbonense in part shade (and relatively dry)
Above it's next to the veggie garden where it gets lots of water. It can climb to over 6 feet and blooms for weeks, maybe even months on end. It self sows moderately, and more importantly, it lives forever as far as I can tell. It certainly rates near the top of the genus. Last year I had over 300 mulleins in my yard: a few too many I admit. This year I'm down to nearer 100--representing seven or eight species out of the hundreds that crowd the Mediterranean littoral and West Asia. Every time someone drops by I worry they might ask me what it is...

Luckily I've distracted them with lots of other things...Don't share my secret, now....


  1. Hard to say, especially in light of there being at least 300 species in Turkey alone. There was a look-a-like in the 1900 block of Glencoe, Denver just last night. I would start by considering V. densiflorum, V. olympicum or, perhaps, V. pulverulentum.

  2. Verbascum nigrum or possibly Verbascum chaxii

  3. more likely Verbascum nigrum wild form


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