Verbascum, commonly known as Mullein, is a genus of more than 100 species of flowering plants in the family Scrophulariaceae, native to Europe and Asia. Most of the species are perennials, meaning they will come back year after year without the need to replant.
Mullein is a tall and handsome plant with a spear of rich, saucer-shaped flowers that are usually yellow in color. Its leaves are silvery, large and somewhat hairy but soft. This sun-loving plant thrives on dry, stony hillsides and open woodlands, standing proud and upright.
The genus name is derived from the Latin word “barbascum”, meaning “bearded plant”, in a reference to the hairy surfaces of the leaves, stems and bracts.
The common name “Mullein” comes from the Latin word “Mollis”, meaning “soft” or “smooth” and refers to the texture of the leaves.
Mullein is a symbol of courage, protection and health.
Its stems are sturdy and upright, making it an ideal mid-border or background plant. It is so huge that it provides shade for sun-sensitive shorter plants.
Mullein has been used in medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide range of ailments, so it also has an association with healing.
Interesting facts about Verbascum
Benefits and Uses
This plant has a long history of use as aherbal medicine, especially in treating respiratory problems. It has been used for the treatment of a wide range of medical complaints including female menstrual cycles, veins, toothaches, earaches, kidney dysfunction, gout, tuberculosis and hemorrhoids.
Mullein was considered one of the most important healing herbs in medieval medical practice. Modern herbalists continue to use this plant to treat a long list of conditions. Today, Mullein is considered a major anti-inflammatory herb to treat cough, cold, sore throat, bronchitis, headache and diarrhoea. According to herbalists, Mullein tea also helps with digestive problems.
Verbascum Plant Data
These flowers are primarily bright yellow, but also white, red, purple and pink.
Mullein has a flower spike that reaches 3 metres (10 ft) high.
Mullein thrives in well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline.