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What is this plant?


By Caz13

United Kingdom Gb

My sister has these popping up around her garden (she moved there about 18 months ago), and she wants to get rid of them. My kids' school fair is in a fortnight, & I was going to put them on the plant stall - unless they're a dreadful weed! They're happily sitting in water at the moment. I wondered if they were a type of comfrey - they have hairy (irritating) leaves & stem, but the growth habit looks more 'bushy' than all of the photos I can find [which look more upright, with greater gaps between the leaves]. There are no flowers yet to help identify, & my sister has pulled out all the others before flowering in the past.




No, I don't think it is Comfrey either. I've got two kinds and it bears a resemblance but you are right, this one is more upright. What are the roots like? Comfrey grows from deep running roots, and comes up again from tiny pieces left in the soil. They have been in flower here for some weeks, too. Sorry I can't help more.

28 May, 2008


To be honest it looks more like Verbascum thlaspi. This is a self seeding biennial with yellow flowers. Either that or it is the thing we know as Lamb's ears.

28 May, 2008


It's definitely not Lamb's Ears - that stays low and spreads horizontally. I'd go for verbascum

28 May, 2008


Definitely Verbascum common name Mullien which variety or species cannot be sure till it flowers. Healthy looking specimen suggests a flower spike potentially of 4 to 5 ft in height likely to be produced. Best of luck

28 May, 2008


Ours get absolutely decimated by mullein moth. In fact I only grow them for the moth rather than as garden plants!

28 May, 2008


Thanks all for answers & pointing me in right direction. I think it looks like Mullein (Verbascum, don't know which type) from further investigation..."The leaves (first season) at the base of the stem form a rosette of numerous, large, 6 to 15 inches long and up to 5 inches broad, but become smaller as they ascend the stem, on which they are arranged on alternate sides. They are whitish with a soft, dense mass of hairs on both sides, which make them feel very furry and thick. The root is a long taproot with a fibrous outer cover and fleshy inside. The flower-spike (second season) has been known to attain a height of 7 or 8 feet, covered with densely crowded, sulphur-yellow, flowers about an inch across with five rounded petals. Blooming during July and August." - Article by Deb Jackson & Karen Bergeron, found on internet.

28 May, 2008

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