Purple mullein

Verbascum phoeniceum 'Violetta'

Purple mullein - Verbascum phoeniceum  'Violetta'

Common Name: Purple mullein
Genus: Verbascum
Species: phoeniceum
Cultivar: 'Violetta'

Category: Annuals & Biennials
Growth Rate: Average
Features: Has interesting/colourful ornamental fruit

Hardiness: HardyHeight: 0.90 m (90 cm)
Sun/Shade: Full sun or Partial shadeSpread: 0.45 m (45 cm)

Foliage Type: DeciduousFlower Colour: Purple
Foliage Colour: GreenFlowering Period: May & June

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

  • Other features: attractive round seed capsules can self-seed freely

    Waving stems carry whorls of tissue thin purple blooms ascending to the finest point. Each flower sports darker centre with golden stamens. Flat rosettes of oval-shaped deep green leaves form a solid base to the plant. Each flower matures into an attractive pearl-like seed pod ripening to burgundy black in colour and extending textural interest late into the summer. Shorter than most Verbascums this one is ideal for a smaller garden.

  • Garden care: Apply a thick 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch round 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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