COMMON MULLEIN, Verbascum
thapsus L. 1, lower portion of plant; 2, upper portion
of plant; 3, seed; 4, distribution. Biennial, reproducing
by seed. Stems 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 m) tall, stout, usually unbranched,
covered with woolly hairs. Leaves at base of plant a rosette, each
leaf 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm) long, oblong, densely woolly; upper leaves
woolly, smaller, and more pointed, the bases attached to stem and continuing
down it to the next leaf. Flowers 5-lobed, sulfur-yellow, about
1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, in dense spikes. Seeds about 1/32 inch
(0.8 mm) across, angular, brown, roughened, numerous, contained in an egg-shaped
pod. Found in pastures, fence rows, and roadsides.
MOTH MULLEIN, Verbascum blattaria
L. 5, lower part of plant; 6, seed; 7, upper part
of plant; 8, distribution. Similar in some respects to the above
species. Stem slender and smooth, 2 to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.2 m) tall.
Leaves on lower part of stem a rosette, dark green, smooth or only
slightly hairy, oblong, toothed or lobed; upper leaves alternate, sharp-pointed.
Flowers yellowish or whitish, on a long, loose spike.