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Herbaceous Perennial

Verbascum olympicum
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

Olympian mullein

V. olympicum is a short-lived perennial, usually dying after flowering, with grey-woolly stems and leaves, and panicles to 2m in height, with yellow flowers in summer

Synonyms
Verbascum longifolium var. pannosum
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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Alkaline
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Yellow Green Grey Silver
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing

Exposure
Exposed
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Scrophulariaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

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

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Greece & Turkey

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in alkaline, poor, well-drained soil in full sun; drought-tolerant plant. In fertile soils, it grows large and needs support

Propagation

Propagate by seed in pots in a cold frame in late spring to early summer. Propagate by division in early spring or autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Remove faded flower spikes

Pests

May be attacked by caterpillars and figwort weevil

Diseases

May be subject to powdery mildews

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