Growing: Verbascum (Herbs)

Botanical Name:

Verbascum

Common names:

Verbascum, Hybrid Mullein

Description:

Mulleins can grow to height of 3 to 6 feet and are somewhat deer resistant. Widely distributed throughout the United States, wild species of Common Mullein are considered an ecological threat and a highly invasive species. They crowd out other native plants in a hurry and are difficult to eradicate once established. Their large, gray-white leaves compliment long primary and secondary flower spikes that grow up from the center of the foliage. Incidentally, mulleins are

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Life Cycle:

perennial, biennial

Exposure:

sun

Cultivation:

Purchase plants or start seeds indoors several weeks before the last frost (they take up to two weeks to germinate). Root cuttings can be taken in the fall and grown indoors over winter or in a greenhouse or cold frame for transplanting in the spring. Verbascum hybrids are usually somewhat short-lived in the garden. They form large silver stalks full of rosettes the first year and produce flowers the second year. Avoid over watering these plants and you'll avoid root rot. Apply a slow release fertilizer during the second season. Divide plants carefully in the spring of the third season to reinvigorate growth.

Propagation:

division and seeds

Parts Used:

flowers

Harvesting and Storage:

Harvest as needed. Place flowers face down and away from light to preserve color for drying.

Medicinal Uses:

throat gargle; digestive problems; earaches; skin inflammations

Culinary Uses

garnish

Other Uses:

flower arrangements; potpourri

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