Scientific NameVerbascum thapsus
Other Common Names:
This erect biennial, flowers from June through September with fruit present from October through March.
At the base of the plant, the wooly leaves form a basal rosette. As the plant grows taller during the second year, the leaves grow alternately. The elliptic leaves have no petioles, and grow directly from the base of the stem. The leaves are largest at the base, and get smaller as you move up the stem. The densely hairy stems can reach 6 feet in height.
This plant can be identified by its hairy leaves with straight margins.
Flower Seed Head
The yellow flowers are densely clustered on a 20-inch long, cylindrical spike. Each 1-inch flower has 5 petals, hairy sepals with 5 lobes.
The seeds develop in an ovoid capsule that is divided into 2 cells. The capsules turn brown, splitting to release seeds, and remain on the stalk through winter.
This plant can be found growing in forests, roadsides, and disturbed areas.
upright and nonwoody,
prostrate and nonwoody
Thorns or Spines
Approximate Flower Diameter
Dominant Flower Color
shorter than leaf
Stem Cross Section
round or oval