Common mullein

Verbascum thapsus L. Scrophulariaceae (Figwort family)

Life cycle



Seedling leaves develop from a basal rosette in the first year. Large oblong leaves are densely hairy and whitish green. Leaves are alternate in the second year.

common mullein rosette common mullein leaves
Common mullein rosette (left). Common mullein leaf (right).


Stems bolt from the rosette in the second year to flower and can be up to 6 feet tall.

Flowers and fruit

Yellow flowers with five fused lobes are found on the upper portion of the terminal spike. The two-celled fruit contain many grooved seeds.

common mullein flowering stalk
Common mullein flowering stalk.



common mullein seedling
Common mullein seedling.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.