Up Close & Personal … Moth Mullein

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Nature, North America, Oregon's Nature Nooks, Out and About, Photography, Up Close & Personal ...

When I noticed this tall flower stalk with its brightly colored blossoms at the park last summer I thought that it might be some kind of wild orchid. I had seen it in the exact same spot in previous years but never bothered to investigate what I was looking at. When I finally decided to find out what type of flower this was, my field guide to wildflowers turns out to be of not very much help. Last week, I send a photo to my friend Sandi who suggested that it looks like Moth Mullein to her. I had missed it in my plant book because I was focused on orchid like flowers.

In past years, I’ve grown regular mullein.
It’s also very pretty but looks different and less delicate to me than this variety.

Moth Mullein, or Verbascum blattaria is in the Figwort Family.
The flower stalks can grow up to 5 feet tall.
The flowers are pale yellow and grow loosely around the stem.

The toothed leaves form a rosette near the ground.
The name Moth Mullein came about as people thought the flowers
resemble moths resting on the slender tall stems.
๐Ÿ™‚

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

15 thoughts on “Up Close & Personal … Moth Mullein”

  1. christine says:

    I have been interested this flower, verbascum, for a while. I have started some from seed this year, and they will be purple. I haven’t seen the flowers yet. The world of plants always has new surprises.

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  2. I always wish that some of these wildflowers would grow so hardily in my backyard … this Moth Mullein would be most welcome! Beautiful sunny color Sabine!

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    • They are beautiful wildflowers indeed! I might look around for some seeds to grow them. Once you’re ready to do some gardening you’ll probably find all kinds of plants that will thrive in your garden. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Very vibrant color yet almost delicate looking. I am going to find hardy flowers that grow in zones colder than my zone as the weather is getting a little too wacky anymore. We were 70 on Wednesday and yesterday we had a snow squall and were in the teens when I left on my walk.

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      • Mullein is super hardy I believe. Check out the common mullein too, Linda! I am certain that you will have a gorgeous garden in no time once you have the time and energy to focus on it. It’s kind of nice to have something fun like that to look forward too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • I have been jotting down a few things I saw in “Birds and Blooms” and will include this one too Sabine. I have so many ideas for leisure time, among them hopefully to take an art class like you did and were enjoying until COVID came along. I can hardly wait to be honest.

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      • Yes, I believe that interacting with other bloggers and reding about their nature adventures and nature photography such as you post whether on a walk or in your backyard gives me a reason to get back into gardening again. I stopped abruptly after the pit bull caused the rat issue – taking away the bird feeders and birdbaths was difficult to do, then losing so many long-established backyard plants in back-to-back Polar Vortexes was equally disheartening. I will try again once I am retired and am looking forward to it … I “branched out” a little with the hummingbird feeders last year.

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      • Sometimes when we have to abruptly make a U-turn in an aspect of our lives, it gives us an opportunity to start over, like in your garden. When you get ready to replant your garden be sure to check out local plant society sales! They always have things that do well in their respective areas and can give you tons of advice. At many Farmers Markets I have visited over the years there’s generally a table where you can get tips and info from certified master gardeners. The hummingbird feeder is a perfect first step in branching out since it’s both easy to do and gives great happiness watching the hummers come by! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • The Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park has such a plant sale Sabine – that is a good idea and I never thought of that before you mentioned it. Their volunteers who help maintain the gardens are very nice – I’ve stopped to chat with them when I’ve gone there looking for butterflies or hummingbirds. They told me to plant a cardinal vine – it has red flowers and it climbed over the Conservatory … they did not plant it after the first year as it was invasive, but was a hummingbird magnet. Our hummingbird migration starts in late April. I follow Wild Birds Unlimited on Facebook (the owner was my former HVAC tech) and he tells when the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds return to put out the feeders. He also watches for Orioles – they are becoming more plentiful in Michigan now and people feed them oranges and grape jelly in special feeders. I am looking forward to that when I have more time to enjoy it.

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      • Very cool that you are getting orioles! A friend in California gets them in her garden. I have never seen one here in Oregon, but did occasionally in California. Your flower garden sounds like it will be beautiful when you get it going. Thatโ€™s something fun to look forward to!

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      • Yes very cool! The owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store I follow on Facebook post pictures of their backyard at their home. They have every type of feeder and nesting boxes too. He and his wife were excited for the Orioles and their first Bluebird pair that used their nesting boxes last year.

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