Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Verbascum thapsus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ScrophulariaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to tree, generally glandular, some +- aquatic. Stem: round to square in ×-section. Leaf: simple, generally alternate, generally +- entire; stipules generally 0 (present in Limosella). Inflorescence: spike to panicle (head-like), generally bracted, or flowers 1--4 in axils. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx lobes 4--5; corolla bilateral to radial, lobes 4--5; stamens epipetalous, 4--5, 5th a staminode in Scrophularia; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 2, placentas axile, style 1, stigma lobes generally 2. Fruit: capsule, generally +- ovoid, loculicidal or septicidal, or drupe-like.
Genera In Family: +- 65 genera, 1700 species: +- worldwide; some cultivated as ornamental (Verbascum). Note: Other taxa moved to Plantaginaceae (Antirrhinum, Bacopa, Collinsia, Cymbalaria, Digitalis, Dopatrium, Gambelia, Gratiola, Hebe, Holmgrenanthe, Keckiella, Kickxia, Limnophila, Linaria, Lindernia, Maurandella, Mohavea, Nothochelone, Penstemon, Pseudorontium, Stemodia, Synthyris, Tonella, Veronica), Orobanchaceae (Bellardia, Castilleja, Cordylanthus, Orthocarpus, Parentucellia, Pedicularis, Triphysaria), Phrymaceae (Mimulus).
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: VerbascumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MULLEIN
Habit: [Annual] biennial, rosette large. Stem: erect, simple or branched just proximal to inflorescence. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate, distal reduced. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle, bracted. Flower: calyx +- radial, deeply 5-lobed; corolla +- radial, +- rotate, 5-lobed; stamens 5, lower 2 filaments > upper 3, all or only upper hairy; stigma +- spheric. Fruit: capsule, septicidal. Seed: small, wingless, many.
Species In Genus: +- 360 species: Eurasia. Etymology: (Latin: from root for bearded)
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Margriet Wetherwax

Verbascum thapsus L.
Habit: Densely tomentose, hairs stellate or many-branched. Stem: 30--200 cm, generally simple. Leaf: basal short-petioled, 8--50 cm, oblanceolate, generally entire; cauline sessile, long-decurrent, 5--30 cm, lanceolate, generally entire. Inflorescence: raceme, dense; bracts 12--18 mm; pedicels < 2 mm, generally fused to stem. Flower: calyx 7--9 mm, lobes lanceolate; corolla 15--25(30) mm wide, yellow, glandular; upper 3 filaments white- or yellow-hairy, lower 2 glabrous to sparse-hairy. Fruit: 7--10 mm, ovoid. Chromosomes: 2n=32,34,36.
Ecology: Roadsides, streambanks, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 2470 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, n SNE, MP; Distribution Outside California: native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: May--Sep
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Margriet Wetherwax
Jepson Online Interchange
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

Previous taxon: Verbascum speciosum
Next taxon: Verbascum virgatum

Name Search
botanical illustration including Verbascum thapsus


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Margriet Wetherwax 2016. Verbascum thapsus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 20, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 20, 2016.

Verbascum thapsus
click for enlargement
© 2005 George W. Hartwell
Verbascum thapsus
click for enlargement
© 2010 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Verbascum thapsus
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Verbascum thapsus
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Verbascum thapsus
click for enlargement
© 2012 Barry Rice
Verbascum thapsus
click for enlargement
© 2012 Barry Rice

More photos of Verbascum thapsus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Verbascum thapsus:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.