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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cockroach Mullein

I'm kidding. The common name of this plant is Moth Mullein. It's an alien in the U.S., but pretty common and not generally invasive. I've seen it growing in groups, but more often singly, like this.

moth mullein

The formal name is Verbascum blattaria. Verbascum is a corruption of the word barbascum, which means bearded. Most species in the genus have very hairy, velvety leaves. The moth mullein, however, does not have hairy leaves.

moth mullein

I'm not kidding. Blatta is Latin for cockroach. Apparently this plant is a great cockroach repellant. So where does the moth come in? Look closely at the stamens protruding from the blossom. They look kind of like the antennae of a moth. Moth mullein is usually white, although occasionally you'll see yellow blossoms.

moth mullein

If I can get my act together, I'll try to show you pictures of the common mullein soon. I'll bet you know it, even if you don't know its name. It's VERY common.

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Ann said...

The leaves look very familiar to me but I don't think I've ever seen these blossoms. They're pretty

vanilla said...

Which reminds me to take a stroll over to the crick and see if there are any bloomin' mullein along the way.

rainfield61 said...

A cockroach or a moth, they become a part of the plant.