Mullein, Common – seed packet – $2.99
Related tags: bird winter forage, drought tolerant, Figwort Family, Insectary plant, smokeable, Wild
(Verbascum thapsus) Biennial in the Figwort Family, native to Eurasia. First-year plant a rosette of fuzzy, grey-green leaves, like a bouquet of bunny ears. Second year produces a spike of yellow flowers, 4-6′ tall, in which weevils reside, to no apparent harm. Medicinally, leaf is used for lung health as tea, tincture or smoked. Flowers are transfused in oil to make drops for treating ear infections. Entirely drought-tolerant.
Planting suggestions: Thrives in poor soils, including heavy clays. Rich soil makes little difference. Full sun. Direct-sow from late Fall to early Spring. Thin to 18-34” apart. Harvest leaves when plant has sized up, starting with older ones on outside and allowing younger inner leaves to grow. For flower harvest, pick off the very few that are ready every day by hand, or plant Greek Mullein, which makes many more blossoms at once.
Contains at least 250 seeds. Packed for 2016.