Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) also known as great mullein, is a dramatic biennial herb of the Scrophulariaceae or figwort family. The family name of this European native may have derived from the word scrofula, a disease that is now understood to be a form of tuberculosis. In Ireland mullein was widely cultivated as a remedy for tuberculosis. The seed is said to have arrived on the North American continent in the dirt used as ballast in old sailing vessels. At least five species of mullein have naturalized in North America. This sturdy and adaptive herb is found on roadsides, rocky and gravely banks, and in marginal areas throughout the world. It thrives in full sun and adapts well to arid conditions. The seeds of this hardy plant, particularly V. blattaria, may remain viable as long as 70 years.

Mullein is known by...

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