WHITE MULLEIN

Verbascum lychnitis

Figwort Family [Scrophulariaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8hemizygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8angular
rarity
rarityZscarce

11th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Candelabra branched, and up to 1.5m tall.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Branches rise nearly vertically and kep fairly close to the main stem.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Each branch covered in a mass of whitish flowers.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
A pair of leaves grow at each branch junction. Stem is angular.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Petals and stamens both white.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
More than one flower per leaf axil.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Flowers on short stalks.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Flower symmetry not quite radially symmetric (actinomorphic), but not decidedly bi-laterally symmetric either, a bit of both, hemizygomorphic.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Each white stamen bears an orange-coloured anther.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Five petals with five stamens, each with an anther mounted perpendicularly.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Each stamen equally hairy.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Leaves initially hairy all over, but the uppermost hairs easily rub or wear off leaving matt green leaves.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Initially the leaves are so felty hairy as to appear white and frosted.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
The underside of the leaf showing veins and short white hairs.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Leaves on very short stalks.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
The basal rosette.


8th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
The angular stem, with short white hairs.


11th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Mullein Moth (Shargacullia verbasci) caterpillar [not to be confused with the flower Moth Mullein (Verbascum blattaria)]. It has similar, but not identical, markings and colourings to a Swallowtail caterpillar.


11th July 2012, nr Discovery Centre, Millennium Path, Llanelli. Photo: © Rob Howells
Mullein Moth munching its way through a White Mullein. They strip the leaves and often leave the flowering stems a blackening stump.


Some similarities to : Hoary Mullein (Verbascum pulverulentum) but that has yellow flowers and is also candelabra-branched.

Hybridizes with :

  • Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) to produce Verbascum × thapsi in 4 scattered hectads in Southern England.
  • Hoary Mullein (Verbascum pulverulentum) to produce Verbascum × regelianum in 2 hectads in East Anglia.
  • Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum) to produce Verbascum × incanum which hasn't been seen since AD1999.
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.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : There is no other white-flowered Mullein.

Occurs mainly in scattered hectads in Southern England. A yellow form occurs in North Somerset. It is also a garden species that can escape.


  Verbascum lychnitis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Scrophulariaceae  

Distribution
 family8Figwort family8Scrophulariaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Verbascum
Verbascum
(Mulleins)

WHITE MULLEIN

Verbascum lychnitis

Figwort Family [Scrophulariaceae]