Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Verbascum thapsus
flannel mullein, great mullein

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Fields, roadsides, wastelots, disturbed forest edge, thickets, and other disturbed open areas.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Biennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees


Coarse, taprooted biennial, producing a rosette of basal leaves the first year, and a single, erect stem 0.4-2 m. tall the second year, the entire plant covered with white-woolly, branched hairs.


Basal leaves broadly oblanceolate, 1-4 dm. long and 4-12 cm. wide, tapered to a long petiole, nearly entire; cauline leaves alternate, numerous, reduced upward, becoming sessile and clasping.


Inflorescence a dense, elongate spike; calyx of 5 sepals; corolla usually yellow, slightly irregular, 5 lobed, 1-2 cm. wide; stamens 5, all fertile, the upper 3 filaments densely yellow-hairy, the lower 2 glabrous and longer.


Capsule broadly ovoid, 7-10 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Verbascum thapsus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 177. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Verbascum thapsus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Verbascum thapsus checklist entry

OregonFlora: Verbascum thapsus information

E-Flora BC: Verbascum thapsus atlas page

CalPhotos: Verbascum thapsus photos

42 photographs:
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