Known for its soft, fuzzy pale leaves and its tall yellow flower spikes, this is a striking wild plant with healing qualities. It is used topically as an emollient to smooth skin and as an astringent to constrict body tissues. Its leaves and flowers are also used internally for coughs and lung ailments. Great Mullein is native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. It’s seeds live a long time (decades to hundreds of years) in the soil, waiting for a disturbance. After a fire, or in my case, after I till the perimeter outside my fence to keep the weeds down, it shows up in large numbers.The tall flower spikes can be dipped in wax and used as torches.
Days to maturity: 85-120
Seeds per pack: 300
Germination rate: 61% on 12/30/2020
Planting / harvesting notes
Plant indoors before frost to get a head start by broadcasting over a potting mix and later dividing and potting up. Direct sow in the garden in early spring. Plants can grow 2-3" wide if given the space. Consider growing this herb in disturbed soils outside your main garden space.
Seed keeping notes
Wait until the flowerstalks dry out and become crispy brown. On a dry day, cut the entire stalk below the lowest seed pods and whack the stalk in a bucket. Sift out the larger plant parts.