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[1] It is a minor problem for most agricultural crops, since it is not a competitive species, being intolerant of shade from other plants and unable to survive tilling. [10][12] Although not an agricultural threat, its presence can be very difficult completely to eradicate and is especially problematic in overgrazed pastures. The History of the British Flora, A Factual Basis for Phytogeography by, "Element Stewardship Abstract for Verbascum thapsus", "Verbascum oreophilum var. [66], Despite not being an agricultural weed in itself, it hosts a number of insects and diseases, including both pests and beneficial insects. [74] Leaves were smoked to attempt to treat lung ailments, a tradition that in America was rapidly transmitted to Native American peoples. [19][68] A study found V. thapsus hosts insects from 29 different families. [19][51], Great mullein most frequently grows as a colonist of bare and disturbed soil, usually on sandy or chalky ones. asperulum (Scrophulariaceae) two new records for the flora of Iran", "List of alien species recognized to be established in Japan or found in the Japanese wild (as of October 27, 2004)", "Common Mullein—the Roadside Torch Parade", "An Evolutionary Approach to Understanding the Biology of Invasions: Local Adaptation and General-Purpose Genotypes in the Weed Verbascum thapsus", "Habitat requirements of central European bees and the problems of partial habitats", "Maintenance Behavior of the American Goldfinch", "Numbers and types of arthropods overwintering on common mullein, Verbascum thapsus L. (Scrophulariaceae), in a central Washington fruit-growing region", "HOSTS – a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants", JLindquist.com: webpage with pictures of tall specimens, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Verbascum_thapsus&oldid=988929534, Plants used in traditional Native American medicine, Articles with Swedish-language sources (sv), Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Second-year plant starting to flower, with a dead stem of the previous year, behind left, This page was last edited on 16 November 2020, at 02:04. [70][71] A number of pest Lepidoptera species, including the stalk borer (Papaipema nebris) and gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), also use V. thapsus as a host plant. The thick, soft leaves are made into a tea to treat respiratory illness by loosening congestion and helping clear the lungs. oreophilum and Verbascum cheiranthifolium var. [2] Dioscorides first recommended the plant 2000 years ago, believing it useful as a folk medicine for pulmonary diseases. In its first year of growth, the common mullein forms a large basal rosette with its large leaves that can grow up to 1 foot long (30.5 cm). The second-year plants normally produce a single unbranched stem, usually 1–2 m tall. [50] In Canada, it is most common in the Maritime Provinces as well as southern Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, with scattered populations in between. A white-flowered form, V. thapsus f. candicans, is known to occur. [1], V. thapsus is a dicotyledonous plant that produces a rosette of leaves in its first year of growth. [53] Seeds germinate almost solely in bare soil, at temperatures between 10 °C and 40 °C. Mullein root has also been used to treat urinary tract issues. The specific epithet thapsus had been first used by Theophrastus (as Θάψος, Thapsos)[14] for an unspecified herb from the Ancient Greek settlement of Thapsos, near modern Syracuse, Sicily,[14][15] though it is often assimilated to the ancient Tunisian city of Thapsus. [16], At the time, no type specimen was specified, as the practice only arose later, in the 19th century. Mainly grown as short lived evergreen or semi-evergreen perennials for their tall showy spires of saucer-shaped flowers. It is a hairy biennial plant that can grow to 2 m tall or more. The flowers are almost sessile, with very short pedicels (2 mm, 0.08 in). [31], The plant has been used in an attempt to treat colds, croup, sunburn and other skin irritations. [9] It is now found commonly in all the states. A tincture (or an extract) of mullein alleviates this problem, although it is extremely bitter. Verbascum depending on nomenclatural choices) alongside species such as Verbascum nigrum (black or dark mullein), Verbascum lychnitis (white mullein) and Verbascum sinuatum (wavy-leaved mullein).[21][22][23][24]. The majority of mulleins grown in the UK are natives of Southern Europe and are mostly hardy in … These same flowers can be picked throughout the growing season, placed in olive oil and left to infuse. Mullein is an attractive flowering landscape plant with a rich history as an herbal remedy. Verbascum thapsus, the great mullein or common mullein, is a species of mullein native to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia, and introduced in the Americas and Australia. It grows in a wide variety of habitats, but prefers well-lit, disturbed soils, where it can appear soon after the ground receives light, from long-lived seeds that persist in the soil seed bank. [55], A given flower is open only for a single day, opening before dawn and closing in the afternoon. [10] This dormancy is linked to starch degradation activated by low temperatures in the root, and gibberellin application bypasses this requirement. [25][29], V. thapsus is known by a variety of names. [79] It was also part of the National Formulary in the United States[75] and United Kingdom. [12] Ground herbicides, like tebuthiuron, are also effective, but recreate bare ground and require repeated application to prevent regrowth. [73], Although long used in herbal medicine, no high-quality clinical research has been conducted on Verbascum thapsus as of 2018, and there are no drugs manufactured from its components. In Mürbeck's classification, V. thapsus is placed in section Bothrospermae subsect. The 1630 number in Mitch may be a typo: the beginning of the 18th century is cited in other sources. nigrum). Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a biennial that grows in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9. Animals rarely graze it because of its irritating hairs, and liquid herbicides require surfactants to be effective, as the hair causes water to roll off the plant, much like the lotus effect. It is a common weedy plant that spreads by prolifically producing seeds, and has become invasive in temperate world regions. [13] Flowering lasts up to three months from early to late summer (June to August in northern Europe),[4] with flowering starting at the bottom of the spike and progressing irregularly upward; each flower opens for part of a day and only a few open at the same time around the stem. V. × spurium W.D.J.Koch), have also been reported in North America. Mullein is also a useful addition to your landscaping. Banko, Paul C., Black, Jeffrey M. and Banko, Winston E. (1999). However, this harvest time prevents the blossoms that normally appear the second year. 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. [31][34][41] The name "velvet dock" or "mullein dock" is also recorded, where "dock" is a British name applied to any broad-leaved plant. [19] Flowers are self-fecundating and protogynous (with female parts maturing first),[19] and will self-pollinate if they have not been pollinated by insects during the day. Seed dispersion requires the stem to be moved by wind or animal movement; 75% of the seeds fall within 1 m of the parent plant, and 93% fall within 5 m.[10], Megachilid bees of the genus Anthidium use the hair (amongst that of various woolly plants) in making their nests. [17][20] Introduced American populations show much less variation. [58] Other bird species have been reported to consume the leaves (Hawaiian goose)[59] or flowers (palila),[60] or to use the plant as a source when foraging for insects (white-headed woodpecker). [67], Other insects commonly found on great mullein feed exclusively on Verbascum species in general or V. thapsus in particular. Under better growing conditions, some individuals flower in the first year. The dried stems may persist into the following spring or even the next summer. (× V. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Burning is ineffective, as it only creates new bare areas for seedlings to occupy. Fasciculata (or sect. The plant grows from 6 to 10 feet tall unless you purchase one of the new cultivars that reach only 5 feet. [57] The seeds are generally too small for birds to feed on,[11] although the American goldfinch has been reported to consume them. [42], Verbascum thapsus has a wide native range including Europe, northern Africa and Asia, from the Azores and Canary Islands east to western China, north to the British Isles, Scandinavia and Siberia, and south to the Himalayas. [62], Seed of Verbascum thapsus has been recorded from part of the Cromer Forest Bed series and at West Wittering in Sussex from some parts of the Ipswichian interglacial layers. While year of flowering and size are linked to the environment, most other characteristics appear to be genetic. crassifolium also differs from the type in having slightly larger flowers, which measure 15–30 mm wide, whereas in the type they are 12–20 mm in diameter. giganteum, the hairs are densely white tomentose, and lower leaves strongly decurrent. [28] In subsp. [5] The tall, pole-like stems end in a dense spike of flowers[3] that can occupy up to half the stem length. Mullein is an accurate indicator of a soil's contamination level. [19], The taxonomy of Verbascum has not undergone any significant revision since Svanve Mürbeck's monographies in the 1930s, with the exception of the work of Arthur Huber-Morath, who used informal group in organizing the genus for the florae of Iran and Turkey to account for many intermediate species. [10] After flowering and seed release, the stem and fruits usually persist in winter,[11] drying into dark brown, stiff structures of densely packed, ovoid-shaped, and dry seed capsules. In the eastern part of its range in China, it is, however, only reported to grow up to 1.5 m tall. An infusion of the root is also used to treat athlete's foot. [72], Control of the plant, when desired, is best managed via mechanical means, such as hand pulling and hoeing, preferably followed by sowing of native plants. [80][31][75], Mullein may be cultivated as an ornamental plant. [7] All occur in Eurasia,[7] and three, V. × kerneri Fritsch, V. × pterocaulon Franch. Add beeswax to the infused oil, and you have a balm that is a welcome addition to any baby's changing table. [5][6] This cover is particularly thick on the leaves, giving them a silvery appearance. Hybrids bred for the home garden are not as invasive as the common mullein. [3][4] The leaves are large, up to 50 cm long. A similar tea … and V. × thapsi L. (syn. When looking for wild mullein, only harvest from straight, vigorous stalks. There are three usually recognized subspecies: In all subspecies but the type, the lower stamens are also hairy. North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The flowering period of V. thapsus lasts from June to August in most of its range, extending to September or October in warmer climates. [11], For the purpose of botanical nomenclature, Verbascum thapsus was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 Species Plantarum. While it can also grow in areas where some vegetation already exists, growth of the rosettes on bare soil is four to seven times more rapid. A multi-purpose herb, mullein is credited historically with healing abilities from its flowers, leaves, and root. The five stamens are of two types, with the three upper stamens being shorter, their filaments covered by yellow or whitish hairs, and having smaller anthers, while the lower two stamens have glabrous filaments and larger anthers. Many growers believe the root should be harvested when the plant's energy is highest, that would be the first year in the fall. It is an undemanding plant, which also adorn itself with impressive, colorful flowers. 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Decades, up to 50 cm long variation, V. × semialbum Chaub to a years!

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