Scientific Name(s): Verbascum thapsus
What: leaves, flowers
How: both leaves and flowers as tea and smoked
Where: dry, sunny areas
When: summer, fall
Nutritional Value: medicinal
Other Uses: dried stalks used for fire drills, leaves used as lamp wicks,
Dangers: fine hairs on leaves can be an irritant. Do not consume seeds.
2nd-year Mullein plants.
2nd-year Mullein gone to flowering.
1st-year Mullein plant
Close-up of flowers
Close-up of leaves
Dried mullein stalk.
Close-up of dried mullein flowers/stalk.
Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Mullein tea is made from the leaves of a 1st-year plant and is considered a good cough suppressant. A similar tea can be made from the root after cleaning, peeling, and dicing. Although the leaves feel soft and fuzzy they do not make good "wild" toilet paper as the small hairs can get stuck in your skin which is very uncomfortable.
The dried leaves were smoked to help with assorted head/chest sickness. The dried flowers have a pleasant flavor.
Avoid consuming the seeds as they contain Rotenone, a poisonous material that is particularly bad for fish and other plants.