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VERBASCUM phoeniceum

Image of Verbascum phoeniceum

Family

Scrophulariaceae

Botanical Name

VERBASCUM phoeniceum

Plant Common Name

Purple Mullein

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

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.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    16"-20" / 40.6cm - 50.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple, Pink, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes