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Herbaceous Perennial

Verbascum (Cotswold Group) 'Gainsborough'
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

mullein 'Gainsborough'

'Gainsborough' is a semi-evergreen, short-lived perennial to 1.2m, with grey-green, ovate leaves in a basal rosette, and erect spikes of primrose yellow flowers 2-3cm in width

Synonyms
Verbascum phoeniceum 'Gainsborough'

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Alkaline
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Yellow Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing

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

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

Name status

Accepted

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 root cuttings in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • 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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