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twiggy mullein, wand mullein

giant silver mullein, verbascum bombyciferum

Habit Biennials. Biennials.
Stems

50–100 cm, densely stipitate-glandular, sometimes also sparsely hirsute-villous.

60–200 cm, densely and persistently tomentose, eglandular.

Leaves

surfaces densely stipitate-glandular, sometimes also sparsely hirsute-villous;

basal and proximal cauline with petiole 1–2 mm;

blade elliptic to elliptic-obovate, 8–20(–30) × 2.5–8(–15) cm, base subrounded to broadly cuneate;

cauline not clasping, gradually smaller distally, base not decurrent, margins coarsely crenate to crenulate, apex of distal cauline and floral bracts acute to obtuse.

surfaces densely and persistently tomentose, eglandular;

basal and proximal cauline with petiole 15–40 mm;

blade broadly elliptic to lanceolate-oblong, 25–35 × 15–25 cm, base attenuate;

cauline slightly auriculate-clasping, gradually smaller distally, base not decurrent, margins obscurely crenate or entire, apex of distal cauline and floral bracts acute.

Inflorescences

unbranched, narrowly cylindric, flowers remote, solitary in axils at least distally, sometimes 1(–5) at proximal nodes;

rachis densely stipitate-glandular, sometimes also sparsely hirsute-villous with simple hairs;

bracts linear-lanceolate, 8–20 mm, base not decurrent, apex long-acuminate, densely stipitate-glandular, sometimes also sparsely hirsute-villous with simple hairs.

unbranched or branched from proximal nodes, narrowly cylindric, flowers loosely overlapping, in clusters of 2–8;

rachis densely and persistently tomentose, eglandular;

bracts ovate to lanceolate-triangular, 7–12 mm, base not decurrent, apex acuminate, densely and persistently tomentose, eglandular.

Pedicels

free, (0–)1–3 mm;

bracteoles 2.

free, 2–5 mm;

bracteoles 2.

Flowers

calyx 4–9 mm, densely stipitate-glandular, sometimes also sparsely hirsute-villous with simple hairs, lobes ovate-lanceolate to triangular or narrowly lanceolate;

corolla yellow, (25–)30–40 mm diam., pellucid glands absent or relatively few;

proximal filaments glabrous at least distally, distal pair villous, hairs purplish to violet or whitish;

stigma capitate.

calyx 6–10 mm, densely and persistently tomentose, eglandular, lobes lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate;

corolla yellow, (20–)30–40 mm diam., pellucid glands absent;

filaments villous, hairs yellowish to yellowish white, or 2 proximal glabrous distally or completely;

stigma spatulate, base decurrent.

Capsules

ovoid-globular to subglobular, 6–10 mm, stipitate-glandular.

ovoid to subglobular, 5–8 mm, tomentose.

Verbascum virgatum

Verbascum bombyciferum

Phenology Flowering Apr–Jun(–Oct). Flowering Jun–Sep.
Habitat Fields, roadsides, disturbed sites. Grassy, rocky benches, streambeds.
Elevation 10–2000 m. [0–6600 ft.] 300–500 m. [1000–1600 ft.]
Discussion

The occurrence of Verbascum virgatum in Nova Scotia may be historic; Ruth collected specimens from 1940 through 1960 from East Chester, Sydney, and Wolfville; it apparently has not been seen there subsequently. It also may be historic in British Columbia.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Verbascum bombyciferum is naturalized in Sonoma County, escaped from ornamental plantings in 1976 at a residence on the Pepperwood Preserve (F. Hrusa et al. 2002). Photos of the population (http://www.calflora.org) show plants (intermixed with typical V. thapsus) with a dense, persistent, bright white vestiture, spikes unbranched or proximally few-branched and 1–2 m, the floral clusters thick and somewhat remotely arranged, yellow corollas with yellowish to yellowish white filament hairs, and broadly elliptic, basally attenuate leaves densely and persistently tomentose on both surfaces. Internet photos confirm the identification as V. bombyciferum and indicate that the Calflora photos show plants just beginning to flower, as the plants potentially elongate proximally and the spikes may develop lateral branches, although the central one usually remains dominant.

Verbascum bombyciferum of Sonoma County has been identified previously (F. Hrusa et al. 2002) as V. olympicum Boissier, and that name has correspondingly been registered in other literature. Verbascum bombyciferum (as well as V. olympicum) is endemic in native range to Mount Olympus (now known as Uludağ) in northwestern Turkey.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Distribution
from FNA
AL; AZ; CA; FL; GA; ID; IL; IN; LA; NC; NM; NV; NY; OH; PA; SC; TX; UT; BC; NS; ON; QC; Europe; Asia [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Mexico (Coahuila), South America (Argentina, Chile), s Asia (India), Pacific Islands (Hawaii, New Zealand), Australia]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
CA; Asia (Turkey) [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Europe (England, Germany)]
[BONAP county map]
Parent taxa Scrophulariaceae > Verbascum Scrophulariaceae > Verbascum
Sibling taxa
V. blattaria, V. bombyciferum, V. densiflorum, V. lychnitis, V. nigrum, V. phlomoides, V. phoeniceum, V. pulverulentum, V. sinuatum, V. speciosum, V. thapsus
V. blattaria, V. densiflorum, V. lychnitis, V. nigrum, V. phlomoides, V. phoeniceum, V. pulverulentum, V. sinuatum, V. speciosum, V. thapsus, V. virgatum
Name authority Stokes: in W. Withering, Bot. Arr. Brit. Pl. ed. 2, 1: 227. (1787) Boissier: Diagn. Pl. Orient. 1(4): 52. (1844)
Source Flora of North America vol. 17, p. 347. Flora of North America vol. 17, p. 348.
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