Common mullein

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. January 2018.

Scientific name: Verbascum thapsus L.

Common name(s): common mullein, great mullein

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– biennial

-leaves are

  • basal
  • rosette
  • felt-like
  • alternate

-can grow to 6 feet in height

– generally flowers July to September in ME


-disturbed sites


-meadows and fields


Natural History:

-native to Eurasia and Africa

-introduced for fish poison



Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.

Go Botany. “Verbascum Thapsus L.” Verbascum Thapsus (Common Mullein): Go Botany, 2021,