Easily mistaken for :
Hungarian Mullein (Verbascum speciousum) or the yellow-flowered variety of White Mullein (Verbascum lychnitis) but that grows only in North Somerset.
Some similarities to :
Woad (Isatis tinctoria) which is also branched and with yellow flowers.
Hybridises with :
but both parents generally need to be present in the area for this to occur with Mulleins, and the hybrids are usually, but not always, sterile and cannot reproduce. Hybrids between the white-flowered White Mullein (Verbascum lychnitis) and any yellow flowered species are yellow. Hybrids between any species with two obliquely positioned anthers and those with straight anthers may not result in flowers with any obliquely positioned anthers.
- Twiggy Mullein (Verbascum virgatum) which occurs in one hectad in East Anglia.
- Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) to produce Verbascum × godronii which occurs in one hectad near the coast north of Norwich.
Orange Mullein (Verbascum phlomoides) to produce Verbascum × murbeckii which occurs in one hectad in East Anglia.
- Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum) to produce Verbascum × mixtum which occurs in two hectads in East Anglia.
- White Mullein (Verbascum lychnitis) to produce Verbascum × regelianum which occurs in two hectads in East Anglia.
Uniquely identifiable characteristics: it is undeniably and un-mistakenly a Mullein.
No relation to : Hoary Plantain,
Hoary Stock, Hoary Cress or
Hoary Alison [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].
There has been a lengthy discussion on the web forums regarding the identity of the Mulleins now found growing in the upper part of the Lathkill Dale valley, of which there must be over 50 specimens scattered about hither-thither. Some folk have concluded that the specimens are the even rarer
Hungarian Mullein (Verbascum speciousum) citing the orange stamens as proof, saying that all the books mention the stamens of Hoary Mullein as being white. But the books say that the stamens are white with woolly hairs, they do not say what colour the stamens are underneath the wool. They just say that the flower is yellow. Why not the stamens too?
Indeed, your Author has carefully considered all of the numerous possibilities, and he concludes that because the leaves are not permanently woolly, but shed the white hairs over time, then these specimens cannot be the rarer
Hungarian Mullein (Verbascum speciousum) which holds onto the hairs on its leaves. Hoary Mullein, on the other hand, does shed the hair off its leaves, but what if it also shed the hairs on at least some of its stamens too? If it does, then the Authors' identification is correct; the Mulleins in Lathkill Dale are those of Hoary Mullein, and not of
Hungarian Mullein (Verbascum speciousum).
Hoary Mullein is a speciality of East Anglia and often found by the A14 near Bury St. Edmunds. It is fairly rare. It seems to have recently turned up in Lathkill Dale, but the Author surmises that it may have been carried there inadvertently by enthusiastic botanists or as a garden escape.