• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Verbascum thapsus

great mullein

  • Other common names great mullein
    Aaron's rod

    Adam's flannel
    ag leaf
    beggar's blanket
    blanket leaf
    bullock's lungwort
    clown's lungwort
    common mullein
    cow's lungwort
    flannel leaf
    flannel plant
    hag taper
    hag's taper
    hare's beard
    hedge taper
    high taper
    Jacob's staff
    Jupiter's staff
    king's taper
    lady's candles
    lady's foxglove
    lamb's wool
    light of the Lord
    mullein dock
    old man's flannel
    rag paper
    shepherd's club
    torch lily
    velvet dock
    velvet leaf
    velvet plant
    white mullein

    see more
  • Family Scrophulariaceae

  • Genus Verbascum can be annuals, biennials, perennials or subshrubs mostly with hairy leaves and 5-petalled, saucer-shaped flowers

  • Details V. thapsus is an erect biennial forming a rosette of large grey-hairy ovate leaves in its first year, with an erect stem bearing a succession of light yellow, saucer-shaped flowers 3cm across in the second year

  • Plant range Eurasia


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Columnar/Upright

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Loam


  • Chalk


  • Sand


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilLoam, Chalk, Sand

  • pHAlkaline


  • Ultimate height 1.5-2.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 1-2 years

How to grow

Cultivation Suitable for herbaceous border and gravel garden. Grow in poor alkaline well-drained soil

Propagation Propagate by seed or division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Low Maintenance Cottage & Informal Garden Wildflower meadow Wildlife Gardens

How to care

Pruning No pruning required

Pests May be attacked by caterpillars and figwort weevil

Diseases May be subject to powdery mildews

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