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Verbascum

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ver-BASK-um
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Mulleins are dramatic annuals, biennials or short-lived perennials with tall spikes of small flowers, and basal rosettes of large, woolly leaves. They are easy to grow in dry to average garden soil but must have good drainage. Do not over-fertilize as they prefer poor soils. They add vertical interest to the flower garden and will self-seed if you leave a few blooms. Some types are considered invasive.  Although they are short-lived, its self-seeding tendency will ensure that once planted, it will be in the garden for a long time to come.  If you desire more plants in your landscape, wait until later in the season, summer or fall, to mulch.  Applying a 2" layer of mulch early in the growing season will help suppress the fallen seed from sprouting.   

Once the flowers fade, cut the spike off at its base.  This procedure will extend the flowering season and help prevent self-seeding.  

The deep taproots allow Verbascum to grow in a wide variety of soils, include gravel, clay and other poor soils.  Good drainage is imperative, insure not to plant in a site where there can be standing water.

Will grow best in poor soils.  Rich soil can lead to sprawling plants with weak stems.  This combination will likely lead to the plants flopping over.  

Its tall upright habit makes a dramatic addition to the typical garden of more rounded plant forms, creating a visual contrast in the landscape.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Known to be a wandering plant, it can be planted in one spot, and the next year show in another.  Its self-seeding can also be an issue.  Its height may require staking.  

Mulleins are all susceptible to spider mite damage in hot areas.  Powdery mildew and fungal leaf spot can be an issue.  

Caterpillars may feed on the foliage.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Album'
    White flowers with purple centers.
  • 'Banana and Custard' aka 'Banana Custard'
    Green foliage, larger bright yellow flowers.
  • 'Sixteen Candles'
    Yellow blooms with violet centers.
  • 'Southern Charm'
    Clump-forming, short-lived, self-seeds.
  • 'Wedding Candles'
    White flowers with purple centers.
'Album', 'Banana and Custard' aka 'Banana Custard', 'Sixteen Candles', 'Southern Charm', 'Wedding Candles'
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#drought tolerant#biennial#perennial#weedy#cut flowers#showy leaves#deer resistant#self-seeding#cutting garden#spiky#poor soils tolerant#rocky soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#bouquets#wanders#cutting
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Album'
    White flowers with purple centers.
  • 'Banana and Custard' aka 'Banana Custard'
    Green foliage, larger bright yellow flowers.
  • 'Sixteen Candles'
    Yellow blooms with violet centers.
  • 'Southern Charm'
    Clump-forming, short-lived, self-seeds.
  • 'Wedding Candles'
    White flowers with purple centers.
'Album', 'Banana and Custard' aka 'Banana Custard', 'Sixteen Candles', 'Southern Charm', 'Wedding Candles'
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#drought tolerant#biennial#perennial#weedy#cut flowers#showy leaves#deer resistant#self-seeding#cutting garden#spiky#poor soils tolerant#rocky soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#bouquets#wanders#cutting
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Verbascum
    Family:
    Scrophulariaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Verbascum flowers have been used in traditional Austrian medicine internally as a tea or externally for the treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, veins, gastrointestinal tract, and the locomotor system.
    Life Cycle:
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Asia, Africa
    Wildlife Value:
    Its abundant pollen-rich flowers attract several species of bees as well as hummingbirds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Screening
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    2-3 feet tall spikes of 1 inch, 5-petaled, saucer-shaped blooms in various colors.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are spirally arranged, often densely hairy, though glabrous (hairless) in some species. The basal rosettes can be up to 2 foot wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Powdery, branched stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Short-lived
    Weedy