Verbascum thapsus

Verbascum thapsus_common mullein_flower JM Di Tomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: woolly mullein; common mullein; lungwort; feltwort; torches; Jacob's staff; velvetplant; old man's flannel; miner's candle

Verbascum thapsus (common mullein, woolly mullein) is a biennial or annual forb (family Scrophulariaceae) that occurs throughout California, but is particularly abundant in dry valleys on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. High population densities have been observed in moist meadows and creek drainages near Mono Lake and Owens Valley. Common mullein is a host for insects that are themselves economic pests. Common mullein seeds can survive for 35 years or more in the soil.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Verbascum thapsus Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • EDDMapS - North American distribution based on Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System.