Verbascum

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Verbascum

 

(mullein), a genus of plants of the Scro-phulariaceae (figwort) family. They are biennial or, occasionally, perennial, usually tall herbs and, at times, subshrubs, with alternate leaves (the lower ones growing in a rosette). The flowers are almost regular or only slightly irregular, usually yellow, and are borne in racemose, spicate, or panicled inflorescences. The perianth is pentamerous, and the corolla, spreading. There are four or five stamens with hairs on the filaments. The fruit is a capsule.

There are about 300 species in temperate zones of Eurasia, North Africa, and North America, into which they have been introduced. In the USSR there are more than 45 species, chiefly in the Caucasus, growing on rocky slopes, steppes, dry meadows, sandy areas, edges of forests, and along roads. The best known are great or common mullein (V. thapsus), V. phlomoides, and V. speciosum. A tincture of Verbascum corollas, which contain mucilage and saponins, is used as an astringent, emollient, and expectorant. Some species, such as V. phoeniceum and V. olym-picum, are grown as ornamentals. Species with four stamens are sometimes classified in a separate genus called Celsia.

REFERENCES

Fedchenko, B. A. “Rod Koroviak-Verbascum L.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 22. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955.
Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.

T. V. EGOROVA

References in periodicals archive ?
Most verbascum species are yellow-flowered - although many of the yellow species also have a white-flowered form.
HOW TO CLAIM: Fill out the form below and send with a cheque (made payable to MGN) or your card details to: The People Free Verbascum, VMGN87, Admail ADM3952, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 1ZZ.
ANOTHER hot favourite is Verbascum EleanorOs Blush, that was featured in the Wildlife Trust Lush Garden at Chelsea.
USE IT: Verbascums will tolerate a little shade but are happier in a sunny open position where their silver foliage can catch a glint of the sun to full effect.
THIS deep-pink flowering verbascum has an orange hue and lighter centre that distinguishes it from the popular variety Verbascum Pink Domino.
Place clumps of spiky flowers such as red hot pokers and verbascums between clumps of rounded flat flowers, like daisies and achillea to create maximum interest.
She came up with a gravel bed which she planted with drought loving varieties of salvias, verbascums and ornamental grasses, and introduced a water feature to add a musical effect.
Substitute the broad leaves for the wispy foliage of ornamental grasses and thread with towering verbascums, foxtail lilies and the see-through spikes of Verbena bonariensis and you're on the award-winning track.
FOR a big impact in a small garden you can't beat verbascums or mulleins.