Vastly underrated as a landscape element, Mullein
is one of our biennial favorites. An outstanding first year plant
with very large gray flannel leaves, it brings forth in the second
summer a tall, yellow-flowered spike that can reach 8 feet. Self-seeding
and returning like an old friend, Mullein naturalizes well and has
few needs. We allow it to wander about the garden as it wishes,
appreciating its soft and elegant nature.
Grow specs: 1-8 feet. Poor to average soils. Full sun.
Traditionally all parts of the plant are used: the
flower in oil for earache; tea for coughs, chest symptoms and as
a diuretic, and as a poultice for ulcers. The leaves are reported
to be strongly anti-inflammatory. (Photo
© Steven Foster)