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Verbascum blattaria

Verbascum blattaria L.

 

Moth Mullein

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyScrophulariaceaeThe figwort family (named for the resemblence of root nodes of some species to tubercular human lymph nodes, or scrophula)
GenusVerbascumA corruption of the Latin Barbascum, the name for these plants
SpeciesblattariaFrom Latin blatta, for “moth”

About plant names...

Moth mullein is native to Eurasia and West Africa, not to North America. It was introduced, and is now naturalized throughout most of the continent. It is considered an invasive species in many areas. It prefers dry disturbed areas such as meadows, roadsides, vacant lots, and gravel bars.

Identification: Plants reach 18-48" (45-121 cm) in height, with a strong, ribbed central stem. They are usually biennial. They spend their first year as a basal rosette, a circle of gray-green woolly leaves on the ground. The basal rosettes may reach 16" (40 cm) in diameter with oblanceolate, bright green leaves. The leaves have irregular teeth, and may be sparsely hairy to glabrous. In the second year, a flowering stalk appears, a raceme with white-to-yellow flowers 1-1½" (2.5-3.8 cm) around. The flowers have fine purple hairs covering the stamens.

Online References:

Verbascum blattaria at Illinois Wildflowers

Verbascum blattaria on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Verbascum blattaria on Discover Life

Verbascum blattaria on wric.ucdavis.edu (PDF)

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 146

Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein)

7/7/2012 · Gibbet Hill, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein)

7/7/2012 · Gibbet Hill, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein)

6/7/2017 · Phillipsburg, NJ · By Lawrie Morello

Verbascum blattaria description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 Jun 2017.

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Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein)

This shows the stem and leaves. The flowers are from a different species, bird’s foot trefoil. · 7/7/2012 · Gibbet Hill, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein)

7/7/2012 · Gibbet Hill, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein)

7/7/2012 · Gibbet Hill, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm)

Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein)

7/7/2012 · Gibbet Hill, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Verbascum blattaria (Moth Mullein)

6/2/2017 · Phillipsburg, NJ · By Lawrie Morello

Range:

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