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Mullein aka: Aarons' rod,
   candlewick, velvet dock 
    Mullein.jpg (7544 bytes)


MulLeaf.jpg (4550 bytes)

Common Mullein or Verbascum thapsus is often seen as a "weed" by roadsides in rural areas. Mullein is actually a striking plant to use in the landscape with its' spires of bright yellow-gold flowers and full, fuzzy leaves. It is not an invasive plant. Here it is used as a background planting in a raised bed. It is classified as a biennial, however this one has been blooming every season for the last 5 years from June till late September! It gets about 4 feet tall for us but can grow from 3 to 6 feet. The spread is about 1 1/2 to 2 feet at the base. Poor but well drained soil will do for mullein.

Mullein has another very interesting function: the leaves when picked and used as a ground mulch or barrier repel slugs like the plague! The leaves have very fine hairs on them that can cause skin itching and irritate mucous membranes...ah ha. We can verify this action against slugs as we have been using the method this season. It works. Use fresh or dried leaves. You can lay them down whole or scatter about as a barrier or mulch. Give it a try and see how it works for you! You can also pick and dry the leaves to store for future use.

Warning: All parts of the plant are mildly toxic except for the flowers. This will not have an affect on any of the plants you use it around. Use gloves when working with it as it can irritate sensitive skin.

The flowers are also a great source of pollen for the bees.

 

 

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