Verbascum chaixii 'Album'
Common Name: nettle-leaved mullein
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White with purple stamens
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions including poor dry soils, but must have good drainage. Remove spent flower spikes before seed sets to encourage additional bloom, but leave some spikes at the end of the season to facilitate self-seeding in the garden. Also may be propagated by root cuttings in late winter to early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Verbascum chaixii is a narrow-leaved mullein species that is sometimes commonly called nettle-leaved mullein. It is a somewhat short-lived perennial which forms a large basal rosette (8-12" wide) of woolly, coarsely toothed, dull grayish-green, ovate-oblong leaves (3-6" long) from which rise spire-like, unbranched stems (2-3" tall) with terminal racemes of 5 lobed, nearly flat, yellow flowers (1 inch diameter) with purplish stamens. Blooms in late spring to early summer.

Genus name may come from the Latin word barbascum which means bearded plant.

‘Album’ is a white-flowered cultivar of the species. It is sometimes designated as var. album or f. album.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to spider mites in hot conditions. Plants grown in rich, fertile soils grow taller and may need staking or other support. Wet, poorly drained soils are usually fatal.

Garden Uses

Borders and cottage gardens. Good vertical accent. Grows well in poor soils and will grow well on dry, rocky slopes or scree.