Common Mullein

Copyright 1995-2003 Henriette Kress.

Scientific Names:  Verbascum thapsus


Picture Thanks to:  Henriette Kress.


Appearance:  Grayish-felted, biennial herb with single stems.  The single phallus like stalk is completely covered with tight little flower buds, small yellow flowers, round tiny-seeded pods, all intermixed.  Some plants may form several flowering branches

HabitatIs a plant of waste places, but in the west it is found between the Juniper/Pinion and the ponderosa belts, inland ranges, forming sporadic strands in the San Bernardino Mountains and Sierra Madres.  Blanketing roadsides and distributed earth.


Collecting:  Large basal leaves on second year are most desirable.  They must be washed and well squeezed out and dried.  If dried for smoking the leaves should be cut away from the stems other wise crushed for tea. 


Medical uses for asthma:  The dried chopped leaves have been used for centuries to relax spasmodic coughing in chest infections and asthma.


Caution:  It is considered safe for consumption in most cases but if to much can be toxic and the seed are toxic.  The leaf fuzz is a skin irritant