Friday, January 30, 2009

Verbascum thapsus: winter

Don't plant this—it's invasive! Verbascum thapsus, known in English as great mullein or common mullein, and in French as molène thapsus, molène Bouillon-blanc, Bouillon-blanc or Bouillon jaune is a biennial native to Eurasia and north Africa. In Canada it is generally considered a weed, and a number of sources call it invasive, but this gardener has included it, presumably as a vertical accent. (You can't see it now, but the plants are mulched, so their presence here is deliberate.) In the first year, the plants are low rosettes of fuzzy greyish leaves about 25 long; in the second year, a striking 2-metre tall spire of yellow flowers appears, with the resulting seedheads persisting well into winter.

There are lots of showier plants that would provide a vertical accent without being invasive, for example, Penstemon digitalis. Hopefully this gardener will switch to one of these alternatives.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin