Verbascum blatteria moth mullein Scrophulariaceae VEBL*; Bx, g, pb, wv (Yost et al. 1991); NY, rw; Q, a, j, wl; K, pl; R, c, cl, hs, js, lp, mm, sm, wp;

 

Verbascum blatteria.commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 4/2014).

Verbascum blatteria.commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 4/2014).

Verbascum blatteria is a biennial herb, from a taproot; first year a rosette, second year flowering stem to 1.5 m, glandular hairy above, simple stem or branched, stem pale green, slightly ribbed by small, fine extensions from leaf bases. 

Leaves alternate, to 6 cm long, sessile, hairless, narrow, coarsely blunt- toothed, puckered by impressed veins, rosette leaves stalked, narrow; flower stalks to 1 cm long. 

Flowers yellow (white) to 2.5 cm wide, petals 5, with dark center, anthers with purple-hairy filaments, pollen orange, 5-parted, petals fused at base; inflorescence racemes to 60 cm; blooms May-Sept., mostly in July (Hough 1983). 

Verbascum blattaria fruit. By Glen Mittelhauser. Copyright © 2017 Glen Mittelhauser. New England Wild Flower Society.gobotany.newenglandwild,org

Verbascum blattaria fruit. By Glen Mittelhauser. Copyright © 2017 Glen Mittelhauser. New England Wild Flower Society.gobotany.newenglandwild,org (Accessed 3/2017).

Fruit dry, a round capsule cupped by persistent sepals; winter plant with persistent capsules splitting open to release small , ridged seeds. 

Wetland status: NL. 

Frequency in NYC: Frequent. 

Origin: Eurasia. 

Habitat: Open areas, roadsides, edges, prefers rich soil. Often planted as an ornamental or in “wildflower” mixes (pers. obs.). 

Verbascum blattaria basal rosette. By Frank Bramley. Copyright © 2017 New England Wild Flower Society.gobotany.newenglandwild.org

Verbascum blattaria basal rosette. By Frank Bramley. Copyright © 2017 New England Wild Flower Society.gobotany.newenglandwild.org (Accessed 3/2017).

Notes: Host to the fungi Cercospora verbasciolaPhymotrichium omnivorumPhoma thapsi and Phyllosticta verbasciola, among others Gross and Werner 1978).