Mullein, or flannel leaf, is a medicinal herb native to Europe, Central Asia, and Africa. The fuzzy leaves form a soft grey-green rosette, and eventually sends up a bright yellow spike of flowers that can grow up to eight feet tall. Mullein tea is a traditional treatment for respiratory issues and coughs, and in the 1800’s was used in Europe as a treatment for Tuberculosis. An oil extracted from the plant has been used to treat skin conditions. Recent studies have proven that compounds found in mullein leaves have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties.
It is said that the fuzzy leaves and tall dried stems of mullein flowers were used by the greeks and romans as candle or torch wicks. This may have led to the folklore that this plant was used by witches to light their way, resulting in Mullein's other common name, “hag’s taper”.
Growth Form: long fuzzy leaves, flower spike up to 7’ tall
Light: Full Sun - Part Sun
Water: low water needs once established
Soil: well-drained sandy soil, standard potting soil
Hardiness: USDA zones 4-8, extra water and protection in zones 9&10
Lives 3-4 years, Reseeds readily