Missouri Wildflower Guide


On the bare upland pasture there had spread
O’ernight ’twixt mullein stalks a wheel of thread
And straining cables wet with silver dew.
A sudden passing bullet shook it dry.
The indwelling spider ran to greet the fly,
But finding nothing, sullenly withdrew.

 

From "Range-finding" by Robert Frost

 

 

 

 

Common Mullein

Mullein is an interesting and distinctive plant with large, velvety light grey-green leaves growing in a basal clump. The second year, a single very tall, thick stalk emerges, with the flowers on it in a tightly-packed cluster. The flowers seem to open at sporadic times, especially later in the season. The dark brown seeds are very tiny, almost as fine as dust.

 

The leaves are huge, up to a foot long, and are very soft to the touch. They have been used as diapers and as wicks for lamps and candles.

 

  • Bloom Time

    May-Sep

     

  • Habit

    Herbaceous

     

  • Height

    To 7 feet

     

  • Longevity

    Biennial

     

  • Stem Surface

    Downy

     

  • Leaf Size

    To 1 foot

     

  • Leaf Arrangement

    Basal

     

  • Leaf Surface

    Downy

     

  • Leaf Edges

    Entire

     

  • Leaf Stem

    Short