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very tall plant with yellow spike of flowers

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ddamerjian
Joined: 7/30/2007
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 36
Posted: Jul/10/2008 11:32 AM PST

Anyone know what this is, many of you do I am sure. Appears along highway roadsides and the like.

Popped up in my front yard and I have spared it and allowed it to grow without weeding it out, and though it has that weedy appearance, the huge furry leaves have grown on me.

Its the second year to exist, so i know its not an annual. Is it a biennial or true perennial - should I expect it to keep coming back? Anybody out there grow this thing in your gardens as a single or in groupings?

Thanks

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semesterke photos
Joined: 6/18/2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 51
Posted: Jul/10/2008 11:40 AM PST

Common Mullien (also spelled Mullein) Latin: Verbascum thapsus

Wife love these but don't let them go to seed.
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Jul/10/2008 2:31 PM PST

Awesome plant! I would've left it too
I don't think it looks weedy...
ddamerjian
Joined: 7/30/2007
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 36
Posted: Jul/10/2008 6:11 PM PST

Thanks all, I found this link http://www.nps.gov/plants/ALIEN/fact/veth1.htm that tells you all you want to know about this plant. So indeed it is a biennial and considered invasive especially with its effective seeding.
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Jul/10/2008 6:54 PM PST

I thought I remembered seeing it classified as an invasive alien (sounds like something from Hollywood LOL), I believe I mentioned that in the other post about large yellow flowering plants . Still, a pretty plant when kept under control!
stereoman blog photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: beautiful southern appalachians
Posts: 2168
Posted: Jul/11/2008 7:00 PM PST

I had one growing out by the curb this year, and of course passers by who invariably stop to chat when I'm working in the front were curious to know what it was called. I know the vulgar name "mullein" and I also know an even more vulgar name, referring to the phallic characteristic of the central flowerstalk. It's a something plant that starts with a "p" and ends with "ecker".

I regret that someone was apparently so offended by what I deemed a harmless and humorous reference to a part of the human anatomy that just as it was reaching its prime, I found the plant poisoned, in a matter of days reduced to brown dust.

Did you know that today was the 254th birthday of Dr. Thomas Bowdler?
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Jul/11/2008 8:21 PM PST

The nerve of someone to poison your plant!!
gardendude blog photos
Joined: 4/08/2008
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 241
Posted: Jul/12/2008 10:42 AM PST

I was just about to ask what that was. I saw it all over the place up where we were staying by the Shenandoah mountains. It looked to me like a cross between Lambs Ears (with the fuzzy soft leaves) and foxglove or snapdragons (with the tall spike of flowers)

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EvonneStoryteller photos
Joined: 7/02/2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 769
Posted: Jul/12/2008 10:55 AM PST

Be sure not to tell your neighbors about the woodpeckers.
stereoman blog photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: beautiful southern appalachians
Posts: 2168
Posted: Jul/12/2008 4:09 PM PST

Oh my, Evonne. ROFL!
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