Mullein—a towering medicinal flower plant

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From floppy flannel

velvet green leaves,

a friendly casual shrub

just hanging out,

a towering stalk

bursting

yellow buds

thrusts

upwards

like a spear

leaving

delicacy

far below.

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I finally identified this wild plant as Mullein, not from thumbing through a field guide, but with one quick internet search for a plant that ‘looks like corn’.  Its visual profile resembles corn, but with velvety leaves and a flower spike, it’s not like corn at all and is a member of the Snapdragon family.

Some people love these plants and grow them in flower gardens.  There are many varieties. For herbalists, Mullein are known as a source of traditional remedies.  For me, the young plants, even younger than shown in my first photo, are quite attractive.  As they mature location becomes a factor. They are so huge that sometimes a towering stalk can feel like an obstruction–in the fall the stalks become hard wooden sticks.

Mullein is also known as:  Velvet plant, Verbascum Flowers, Woolen Blanket Herb, Bullock’s Lungwort, Flannel Flower, Shepherd’s Club, Hare’s Beard, Pig Taper, and Cow’s Lungwort.

A thank  you to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Narrow, which gave me a nudge to gather photos, identify, and write about these plants.

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16 thoughts on “Mullein—a towering medicinal flower plant

  1. Hi Janice, we have this amazing plant growing in our garden too. We never know where it’s going to turn up, sometimes in a most inconvenient place, but it’s precious so we leave them in peace. You have quite a bunch of them. Lovely light in your photos. Your poem describes them perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

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