Verbascum thapsus (Wooly Mullein)

Anyone who doubts that this plant is a menace is being very silly. Medicinal value aside, it is aggressive and ruins meadows. Fortunately, a couple of summer's spent digging them up and bagging seed heads makes a real difference. I have seen them offered in seed packets by the company "Seeds of Change." It is illegal to sell them in Colorado, as they are on the list of noxious plants.

This photo was taken on the Boy Scout Trail. It was part of the Winiger Ridge Project, and the USFS, which does not bother with Verbascum thapsus, has left a mess.

Same area, same issue.


When handling dried spikes of mullein, keep them upright. Otherwise they act like gigantic pepper shakers, spilling seeds everywhere.

I have included this photo because it shows the difference between the Mullein, on the right, and the Green Gentian (Frasiera speciosa) on the left. It would be easy to pull a Gentian by mistake, so look for the diagnostic smooth leaves, as opposed to the wooly leaves on the Mullein.