Moth mullein

Verbascum blattaria f. albiflorum

Moth mullein - Verbascum blattaria f. albiflorum

Common Name: Moth mullein
Genus: Verbascum
Species: blattaria f. albiflorum

Category: Annuals & Biennials
Growth Rate: Average
Features: Has interesting foliage, Good for a rock garden

Hardiness: HardyHeight: 1.20 m (120 cm)
Sun/Shade: Full sunSpread: 0.30 m (30 cm)

Foliage Type: DeciduousFlower Colour: Purple, White
Foliage Colour: GreenFlowering Period: May to July

Soil Type: Sandy/Light or Chalky/Alkaline
Soil Moisture: Dry, well drained

Elegant slender spires have widely spaced white flowers with a distinct violet eye and golden stamens. Basal rosettes of gloss oak-like leaves. Flowers achieve a rosy pink flush as they fade. This plant is most successfully grown in a lean well-drained gravel or scree where a meagre diet avoids the need for staking. On richer soils it may need twiggy support. A good subject for the sunny border, cottage-style plantings and gravel gardens.

  • Garden care: Apply a 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch around the base of the plant in autumn to protect from winter extremes taking care not to cover the crown. Stake in spring with bamboo canes or twiggy prunings before the flowers appear. Mullein moth caterpillars can be a problem, pick off the insects in early June as soon as they appear. Remove faded flower spikes.

    It is worth keeping in mind that these plants are mainly biennial so although they usually self-seed freely the plant will only live for two years.

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