Plant Image
Flower stalk
Lynx Creek - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Verbascum thapsus - common mullein

Other Common Names: flannel mullein, blanketweed, woolly mullein, velvet plant
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Scrophulariaceae

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Lynx Creek
Sue Smith
Young plant - leaves
Granite Mtn - Tr 308
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Granite Mtn - Tr 308
Sue Smith
Seed pods
Granite Mtn - Tr 308
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Biennial
General Desc: Tall, stout, leafy stems, flannel-like leaves, which explains its other common name, flannel mullein.
Identification notes: Biennial; leaves elliptic, densely woolly on both sides, first year leaves form a basal rosette; flowers yellow, borne in dense spikes, flowers 5-parted, some or all of the filaments bearded, anthers yellow, red or orange.
Height: To 6-1/2 feet


Habitat Description: Disturbed soils on roadsides, waste areas, and burned areas.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3200 - 8700 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Apr - Sep
Description: The second year of its 2-year cycle, 5-petaled yellow flowers bloom along a 12 to 24 inch spike-like cluster at the top of a 2 to 6 foot stem. The approximately 1 inch wide flowers open from the top down.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Grayish-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The first year of its 2-year cycle, common mullein produces a basal rosette of large velvety leaves to 15 inches long. The second year, upper leaves clasp a 2 to 6 foot stem and become progressively smaller toward the top.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Brown   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: The woolly egg-shaped seedpods are 2-chambered and contain numerous tiny seeds.
Seed Notes: Seeds are small, angular, brownish <1/16 inch long.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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