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Verbascum olympicum
at Digging Dog

Candlewick

Verbascum

Mullein

This genus has a host of common names, including ‘Beggar’s Blanket’ and ‘Old Man’s Flannel’. In England, the very poor used to put the thick leaves into their shoes for warmth. It is also said that when fish eat the seeds, they are stupefied and can be gathered by hand.

Although most of the more than 300 species are biennials, our offerings are perennials. Though some are dwarfs and some are giants, nearly all have fuzzy stamens and prefer very well drained sandy or rocky soil. We like to use them in the rock garden as specimens or for naturalizing.

Verbascum olympicum full sun

A remarkable perennial of Olympian proportions, Candlewick originates in Europe’s Bithynian Mountains. Large, felted, wavy-edged leaves form a huge, silvery basal rosette that lasts through the winter. In summer, woolly “candles” branch out at the base, and soar skyward with cheerful clusters of bright yellow flowers. Outstanding as a feature plant in a shrubby Mediterranean border, this monumental Mullein appreciates a dry spot.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 6' 0"–8' 0" high x 2' 0"–3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.

Verbascum olympicum (P-0973)
Each $7.75
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Other selections in this genus


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Here at Digging Dog, we’ve had some welcome rain to actually soak the soil. With the onset of shorter days and chilly nights, a quieter contemplative mood envelopes parts of the garden. As many herbaceous plants are fading into dormancy, evergreen shrubs, bold-toned leaves, textural seed-heads plus plump glistening berries take center stage. The impressive group of plants featured in this newsletter caught my eye when I strolled through the nursery and garden yesterday. I hope you enjoy these compelling autumnal offerings. In many locales throughout the country, there’s still time to tuck some botanical gems into an empty garden nook.

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