Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)
Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) -
(Mullein, Common - 01) The common mullein is quite noticeable because of it heavy structure, which grows to heights of seven feet. It grows much like a corn stock, but this wild flower is a member of the Figwort family. At the base of the mullein's stock is a rosette of large soft, hairy leaves.
(Mullein, Common - 02) The common mullein, sometimes called "great mullein" blooms from June through September, but only a few of its buds open at a time. Furthermore, the common mullein only begins to bloom in the second year of its life. During the first year, it produces only large woolly leaves.
(Mullein, Common - 03) This is another photo of the common mullein which shows how sparsely it produces flowers. The common mullein grows throughout the United States. There is only one other species of mullein, the moth mullein, which is smaller and produces flowers along its stem.
(Mullein, Common - 04) This is a bee's-eye view of the center of one of the common mullein's 3/4 inch flowers. Each flower of the common mullein has 5 stamens and 1 pistil. We are not sure what the hairy material in the center is.
(Mullein, Common - 05) In this photo we can see the entire 3/4 inch flower with its 5 petals with their tiny hairs, which are noticeable along their edges.
(Mullein, Common - 05a) In this bee's-eye view of the common mullein's flower, we can more clearly see the hairs on the petals (lower-right). In this photo, we can also see the open end (stigma) of the pistil.
(Mullein, Common - 06) This is the only common mullein that we have seen with multiple flower stocks. These additional flower stocks are much shorter than the main flower stock. The ancient Romans used to dip these common mullein stocks in fat or oil and use them for torches in funeral processions, and the ancient Greeks used the leaves as wicks. The leaves of the common mullein had also been used as shoe liners, for making medicinal tea, and to add a medicinal quality to tobacco. Women also used the leaves to rub their cheeks to bring out a natural glow without the use of make-up.
(Mullein, Common - 07)
This photo gives us a little closer view of the additional flower stocks of this
unusual common mullein. Even though the common mullein may not be among
the most beautiful of God's wildflowers, it is nevertheless worthy of our
admiration; for just by its existence it reinforces our faith in our Creator God
(Mullein, Common - 08)
This is what a common mullein look like when it first begins to grow in the
spring. This one is growing up through a patch of bedstraw. In the
first year of its development, the common mullein only produces a rosette of
fuzzy basal leaves, but the following year it also grows a stalk, as this one is
beginning to do.
(Mullein, Common - 08a) This is a closer look at one of the common mullein basal leaves.
(Mullein, Common - 08b) This is a closer look at the new growth of the common mullein as the stalk begins to grow.
(Mullein, Common - 09) Tom Nickolson sent us this and the following photo of an 8 foot tall common mullein that is growing in his back yard.
(Mullein, Common - 10)
This is another look at Tom Nickolson's common mullein.
| Wild Flowers of SHL: Photo Identification, Common Name, Scientific Name | Art and Photos |
Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation. Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion. It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.
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