scale bar = 1cm.

Great Mullein - introduced (*Verbascum thapspus)

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Other names: Aaron’s Rod.

Family: Scrophulariaceae.

Native of Europe and Asia.

Occurrence: Fairly uncommon. It is usually in waste, weedy places or on disturbed land.

Identification:

  • the leaves, stems and buds are covered with a dense mat of soft white hairs
  • the yellow flowers grow along a stout erect stalk that is 2 metres or more high
  • there is a rosette of basal leaves; the leaves extend up the stem
  • the leaves along the stem get progressively smaller up the stem.
  • It is a declared noxious weed and Regionally Controlled in central Victoria.

    In medieval times, the dried stalks of Mullein were dipped in tallow and used as torches in street processions.

    Similar species: Twiggy Mullein (Verbascum virgatum) is more slender, has smaller and less hairy leaves. It is also more common.


    Photo 1: Basal leaves of Great Mullein. Lerderderg River, Nerrina. The weed is growing amongst native Bidgee Widgee.
    2. Bridgewater Road, Maldon. As it matures the plant has an untidy appearance.
    3: Great Mullein. A street weed, Hargraves St, Castlemaine.
    4: Railway embankment. Barker St, Castlemaine.

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