03.07.2015 Summer Mullein

One wildflower that gets little respect, at least I have heard mostly discouraging words for it, is Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsis).  It is generally a roadside or waste area plant, but I have seen a few in flower gardens and for good reason.  The first year growth, for which I have no images, is a lovely hairy rosette that hugs the ground.  The second year produces a tall spike that is covered with creamy yellow blossoms.

Common-Mullein062808-700WebMullein has quite a few medicinal uses and even more aliases….my favorite is Clown’s Lungwort.  I have never used Mullein as an herb, but have seen it sold in several places.  It is supposed to help with colds, as a tea, but I prefer Comfrey.

I am hoping, and the forecast supports it, that this morning was our last truly cold start to the day.  Warmish days and not too cold nights are on the calendar for the next week with just a slight possibility of a flurry here or there.  Wish us luck.  🙂


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to 03.07.2015 Summer Mullein

  1. Andrew says:

    That is a very handsome plant Steve that doesn’t deserve discouraging words. I’d really like to see the hairy rosette. Fingers crossed for warmer weather for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll admit that the bright flowers are pretty and the fuzzy leaves pleasurable to touch, but one thing that elicits discouraging words is that mullein is alien in the United States. A document put out by the U.S. Forest service notes that “It is reported invasive in AZ, CA, CO, CT, HI, ID, IL, MO, NJ, NV, OH, OR, PA, SD, TN, VA, WA, WI, WV, and WY.” We have it in Texas, too, but I haven’t noticed it acting invasive here. I saw some in New Zealand as well.


      • I left out the alien part. Unless they are seriously invasive I don’t give that much consideration. If we were truly worried about invasive, the whole bunch of us would move back to Europe, Russia, the Middle East, China, Japan, etc. Only half serious there. We do have some issues with invasive plants here, like knotweed, taking over and forcing other plants to die off. Water Hyacinth is another one that is clogging up waterways and Purple Loosestrife as well. Invasive aliens or not, we can still celebrate their beauty…although in many horticultural circles that is a no-no.


    • As Steve points out below, the discouraging part comes from being an alien. I’m not one to disrespect aliens though, so it gets plenty of admiration from me. It is a lovely flower.


  2. Jim in IA says:

    We have those around here, too. I have always liked seeing them with their bright yellow flowers and hairy leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lottie Nevin says:

    Yes, I want to see the hairy rosette too! Keeping fingers, toes and everything crossed that this truly is the end of your L-O-N-G winter and that sunnier, warmer days are now a head for you. Beautiful photograph of the Mullein. Maybe it should be called Much Maligned?!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The rosette as well as spent blooms are on my list for this year. I am not sure how I have not photographed the rosette. Well, I did back in film days, but who knows where that image is now.
      We did have a warmer day, but it was partly sunny…or is that partly cloudy? I can never figure which is which. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You and I are both optimistic about the weather. I am so sure that tomorrow will be fine that I’ve planned to take the camera out for a spin! Wish me luck. Here’s to a bit of a thaw over the next few days. We had lots of ice accumulation on Tuesday night, and then a bit of a melt, and then a hard freeze … I’m convinced I’d get around better on skates! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve fallen … Joanna slips even with small ‘grippers’ on her boots. You and I both know that I’ll be complaining about having to cut the grass soon enough. D

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am not surprised that your weather has been a bit more wintery than ours, David. We noticed the weather pattern with the storm staying more to our south. It reached within 30 miles of us, but we stayed dry for a change.
      Actually, you and I know that we will both be complaining about mowing. Part of my yard stay wet with some standing water for a month or so after the spring melt, so summer brings a drying spell and my mowing increases then too. Mary Beth wears those YakTrax springy things but I don’t have much faith in them. Spikes seem better, but even they can let you down as that poor woman discovered before drowning a while back. Skates would probably contribute to a lot more falls in my case. Never did get the hang of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful shot of the mullein. I have Great Mullein growing in my yard. I love the large fuzzy leaves. I once read somewhere that the leaves were used as a wound dressing and/or to stop bleeding on injured soldiers during the Civil War. Maybe that was learned from the Indians?
    Isn’t mullein a native of Europe or do I have it mixed up with some other plant?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can see where you winter-weary folks would be cheered by mullein’s bright yellow flowers, which you’ve portrayed so appealingly here.


  7. Phil Lanoue says:

    That is quite lovely. Hope it warms up for you soon.


  8. shoreacres says:

    I’ve figured out that this isn’t at all related to garden gladioli, but it still reminds me of that flower — except that this seems more attractive. For me, the glads suffer from sad associations — used at too many funerals for my taste. But this is cheerful and sunny — hope you truly do get some sunnier and warmer days.


    • I can see why you would be reminded of gladioli, Linda. Yep, I wouldn’t expect to see mullein at a funeral.
      The weather is fairly nice this late afternoon after a sketchy start. We have a couple more in the forecast so maybe, just maybe, spring is on its way.


  9. Mulleins are nice plants, aren’t they? And they are well-behaved in the garden. They appear from time to time and I always let them stay. I like how fuzzy they are.
    Are you having nice weather? I am astounded by the continued warm dry weather we are having. The snow is almost gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would expect them to behave much as they do in nature where we seldom find them in dense colonies. I have seen some bad examples of wild plants, or domestic ones, totally engulfing the rest of the garden, but never the mullein.

      We have had almost a week of pleasant weather, Melissa. That changed today with rain and cold but it was still way better than the previous week. It’s to be decent through the coming week with one day of cold before we bounce back to spring.


  10. Pingback: 08.24.2015 Mullein leaves from both sides now | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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