Common Mullein

Common Mullein
Common Mullein. Verbascum thapsus.
Scrophulariaceae, the figwort family.

Plant: Tall, robust, wooly plant, 2'-6', rising from a rosette of large basal leaves, with dense spike of yellow flowers that open a few at a time. Biennial.
Flowers: Yellow, five petaled, 3/4"-1", five fuzzy stamens, one pistil, densely packed along terminal spike.
Leaves: Basal rosette, alternate on stem, simple, ovate to obovate, thick, velvety, to 12".
Fruit: Nearly spherical capsule.
Blooming: July-September.
Habitat: Fields, roadsides, waste areas, sometimes near woodland boundaries.

Comments: A striking plant, the large wooly leaves have been used as wicks and as insulation in primitive footwear. The dead plants remain standing through the winter and into the next season. Introduced from Europe.

Where to find it: I have found this plant only in one location, on the east border of the park near one of the medical building parking lots. As it is biennial, locations may vary from year to year.