Saturday, July 11, 2015

Great Mullein

This seemed an obvious sequel to Thursday's plant, only I should have done it yesterday. Unfortunately with one thing and another, in particularly the Sahara Bridge Club reunion finishing after midnight, meant I missed the boat. 
Great mullein, Verbascum thapsus, is a towering pillar of a plant, developing a spike of flowers which explode individually starting at the bottom. It has large oval-elliptical leaves which feel woolly. 
It is a biennual so you know when they're coming when you see their rosettes forming, usually in disturbed areas or cracks in paving. 
The name thapsus derives from the Ancient Greek writer Theophrastus's reference to a herb from the town of Thapsus, identified now as Thapsos on Sicily. 
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