Verbascum

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.

Grounded by gray-green rosettes, these upstanding candelabras of copious, violet-eyed, sunshine-hued flowers stage a truly incandescent spectacle. Irregular scallops, net-veining and long petioles define its dynamic large basal leaves. Preferring a somewhat dry, well drained site, ‘Sixteen Candles’s proud yellow spires command attention alongside Nepeta reichenbachiana.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 3-1/4' high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Illuminated tapers stage droves of tightly set pure white flowers centered by fuzzy purple filaments and bright orange anthers. The flat-faced blooms shine above pearly green textured leaves.

Conveying a bright floral lift all summer long, this undemanding perennial can be sited in drier garden areas with Perovskia abrotanoides or Phygelius ‘Snow Queen’.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 3' 0" – 3-1/2' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Verbascum</i> ‘Clementine’

When British plant breeders, Vic Johnstone and Claire Wilson, developed more than a thousand hybrids utilizing various wild Verbascum species, they chose only the best dozen seedlings and dubbed them ‘The Riverside Hybrids’; this splendid toasty hued prodigy was one of them. Sprouting from handsome rippled green basal leaves, numerous, well-branched straight stems bolster burgundy flushed button-like buds on tall floral spikes.

Large and luscious, wide-open coppery orange flowers, festooned with a central cluster of woolly light violet filaments, lend warm vertical accents to Allium ‘Gladiator’.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Verbascum</i> ‘Gainsborough’

This Verbascum’s hushed colors are soothing to the senses and easy to blend with other perennials. Centered by delicate orange stamens, the cupped, dusky primrose yellow flowers and cream-colored buds squeeze onto numerous branched candelabra-style spires. Downy gray leaves converge at the base of the statuesque presentation, while Echinops ‘Arctic Glow’s snow white spheres make a pleasing counterpoint.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 4' 0" – 4-1/2' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

A felted biennial rosette of ample, grayish green ripple-edged foliage unleashes spectacular 6 ft. tall luminous flowering stalks. The crowded, blunt-tipped stout stems house fuzzy, round silver buds and large saucer-shaped blossoms bathed in soft custard yellow hues with orange anthers. These long blooming, multibranched beauties are some of the last flowers to grace our mixed border, delivering glowing vertical accents ‘til October’s end.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 6' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Verbascum nigrum</i> ‘Album’ <i>Verbascum nigrum</i> ‘Album’

With flower spikes reaching over 3-½ ft. tall, ‘Album’ is truly dramatic. Its many white flowers are tinged with crimson at the base of each petal and accented by golden orange stamens. The large basal leaves are coarse, deep green and textured. Their undulating margins, and often their stems, are tinted a deep burgundy color.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 4' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Verbascum olympicum (P-0973)

Each $7.75

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2018

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.

<i>Verbascum phoeniceum</i> ‘Flush of White’

Dressed in pure white, the slender flowering spikes show off an abundance of frosty, yellow-eyed blooms. This illuminated display arises from ripple-edged green foliage, which achieves a tidy, compact rosette. ‘Flush of White’s uniform snowy coloring is unusual for a Verbascum, while its smaller stance becomes an added bonus where space is limited.

Blooms May

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Verbascum phoeniceum</i> ‘Rosetta’

'Rosetta' puts on a colorful flower display, bejeweled in pretty carmine-pink hues. Anchored by comely, crimpled dark green leaves, the tall spires host sumptuously hued, gold-centered, saucer-shaped flowers that celebrate the vivid hues of Phygelius ‘New Sensation’ and Liatris ‘Floristan Violett’.

Blooms May–August.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Verbascum phoeniceum</i> ‘Violetta’

As a precursor to the royal floral show of this delicate Mullein, enchanting buds swell, resembling tiny, dark satin pillows. A deep green, flat rosette of oval-shaped, crinkled leaves provides an attractive base for the airy and richly colored flowering spikes. Brightened by gilt stamens, papery purple blooms are flat-faced and look fabulous in arrangements. Self-seeding easily, and shorter in stature than most Verbascums, ‘Violetta’ is perfect for the smaller garden.

Blooms May–August.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Verbascum</i> ‘Pink Domino’

Romantic shades of rose-pink dress up these dark-eyed saucer-shaped blooms. Standing straight and tall, the lovely spikes rise from a rich green, purple-streaked, ripply rosette. Sprinkle among Monarda ‘Violet Queen’ and Eryngium ‘Blue Jackpot’ for divergent flower forms and an unrivaled feminine touch.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 4' 0" – 4-1/2' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

A stately stand of tall branched racemes laden with large, white cupped blooms distinguishes this new Verbascum cultivar. Fuzzy basal foliage, steeped in soft grayish greens, launches the crisp and classic display that shows a lively touch of color when reddish purple floral filaments appear.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 3-1/4' – 4' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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