Great Mullein

Verbascum thapsus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Great Mullein


The yellow, candle-like flower spikes of Great Mullein can reach up to two metres in height, making this an impressive plant of dry and grassy ground including gardens, waste ground and roadside verges. It is a biennial, spending its first year as a rosette of furry leaves and producing its flowers in its second year between June and August.

How to identify

The grey-green, oval, leaves of Great Mullein are covered in woolly hairs and appear in whorls around the tall stems. The flower spike appears at the top of the stem - the flowers themselves are small, but they form dense, yellow clusters around the spike.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Like many of our native plants, Great Mullein is an excellent source of nectar and pollen for all kinds of insects including bumblebees and butterflies. To encourage wildlife into your garden, try planting native flower species in your borders to provide a 'nectar-cafe'. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Great Mullein
Latin name
Verbascum thapsus
Height: up to 2m
Conservation status