Monday, March 16, 2009

Verbascum thapsus: leaves

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.

Here you can see some of the old foliage from last year, and a rosette of new leaves opening in the middle. The soft velvety leaves are rather nice, but do we really need more of this plant spreading itself around and invading wild spaces, where it displaces native plants?


  1. Could you not plant this in a pot and then in the ground so the roots don't spread? I do this with mint..cut the bottom out of a plastic the plant in the ground pot and all..then the side ways roots stay contained and don't spread and I have fresh mint to garnish that cool lemonade!
    Spring is coming I'm sending you some sun from the desert! :)NG

  2. I think it spreads mainly by seed (see the massive seed spike here) so it would be necessary to deadhead it, but even then the flowers on the spike don't bloom simultaneously so it's possible that some seeds might have formed while other flowers were still coming out.


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