- Velvet dock, Big taper, Candle-wick, Flannel-leaf, Woolly mullein
- An herbaceous biennial, 2-6 feet tall. Leaves and stem densely wooly. Plants are erect, forming a basal rosette in the first year.
- narrow at base
- round teeth
- basal leaves on petioles
- rarely with erect branches
- hairs branched
- Yellow, five-petaled flowers growing in a dense cylindrical spike. Blooms from late June to September.
- brownish-yellow 2-celled capsule
- seeds numerous, with alternating wavy ridges and deep grooves
- waste places, roadsides, disturbed areas
- dry sandy locations
- seeds are passively dispersed near the parent plant during fall and winter
Key ID Features:
- densely wooly
- thick leaves
- tall stout
- large yellow spike
- Mullein is a very distinct plant that has few similar species except ornamental Lamb's-ear which has purplish-pink flowers and possibly Moth mullein (Verbascum blattaria) which lacks the densely fuzzy leaves, robust appearance and has toothed leaf margins.
- Common mullein can produce about 100,000-180,000 seeds per plant causing a great threat to botanical diversity since the establishment of mullein can cause native plants to be displaced since it is adaptable to a variety of habitats and eradication of an established population is difficult.
- On Nantucket, dense populations can be found growing on beaches.
Growth Form: Herb
Origin: Europe, Asia
Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Likely Invasive
Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Does not meet criteria
Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: no