Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
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Verbascum phoeniceum, the purple mullein, adds a vertically stunning accent to sunny gardens with its abundance of sturdy, well-branched spires of large, five-petaled flowers. This biennial or very short-lived evergreen perennial is native to southern Europe, extreme northern Africa and eastward into westcentral Asia. The flower spikes emerge from basal rosettes of crinkled, dark green foliage, and appear in succession over a long period from late spring into summer. Each blossom is hairy and can range naturally in color from white to pink, violet and deep purple with light yellow centers, attracting butterflies and bees. Seeds are produced in profusion and scatter nearby and germinate, perpetuating the stand of plants.
Thriving in full sun and average to lean, dry soils, Verbascum phoeniceum requires excellent drainage to thrive and will not tolerate "wet feet" (soggy soils). The flower spikes should be cut back as they fade to maintain a neat appearance and to encourage heavier reblooming. Purple mullein tends to be short-lived, but will self-sow if allowed to go to seed, ensuring a constant supply of plants. It is well worth growing for its abundance of bloom and ease of culture, and makes a fine choice for adding vertical appeal rock gardens and sunny, well-drained mixed borders. Rabbits and deer do not eat this plant.
8 - 1
4 - 8
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m
16"-20" / 40.6cm - 50.8cm
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
White, Purple, Pink, Violet
Green, Dark Green
Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Wildflower
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