Verbascum lychnitis Verbascum lychnitis Verbascum olympicum

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Showy Mullein

Verbascum speciosum

  • Name also: Hungarian Mullein
  • Family: Figwort Family – Scrophulariaceae
  • Growing form: Biennial herb.
  • Height: 50–200 cm (20–80 in.). Stem densely short-haired, grayish white.
  • Flower: Corolla almost regular, 20–30 mm (0.8–1.2 in.) wide, yellow, fused, wheel-shaped, short-tubed, 5-lobed. Calyx 5-lobed. Stamens 5, filaments and at least 2 lowermost stamens’ anthers (yellowish) white-haired. Pistil a fused carpel. Inflorescence spike-like with long, abundant branches.
  • Leaves: In a rosette and alternate on stem. Basal leaves short-stalked, upper stem leaves stalkless, slightly amplexicaul, shortly decurrent. Blade lanceolate–narrowly obovate (uppermost stem leaves’ ovate–roundish), both sides densely stellate-haired, grey, with entire, wavy margins.
  • Fruit: Egg-shaped, 6–8 mm (0.24–0.32 in.) long, septicidal capsule.
  • Habitat: Roadsides, rock cuttings, waste ground. Ornamental, occasionally wild.
  • Flowering time: June–September.

Genus Verbascum is a large genus which comprises around 250 species, most of which grow around the Mediterranean. Most of the species still cross-breed easily with one another, so holiday-makers who are interested in the plants have enough to keep them occupied on the longest of visits. In Finland it is easier for botanists because only two species grow ferally and a few others have established themselves as established aliens or ornamental escapes.

Showy mullein represents one of the genus’s newer alien species. Its handsome, candle-like forked inflorescence is sure to attract attention in the open habitat it favours. Each individual flower’s life-span is very short, only a few days, but the inflorescence as a whole lasts a very long time. The plant attracts its pollinators – flower-flies, honeybees and bumblebees – to its beautiful yellow flowers, which are complemented by the long, white dense fur that covers the stamens and is comprised of single-celled hairs. The flower lacks nectar, but it rewards its pollinators with pollen.

White Mullein & Olympian Mullein (Greek Mullein)

Verbascum lychnitis & Verbascum olympicum

NOT TRANSLATED YET. Eteläisen Suomen luonnossa voi tavata kaksi muutakin, pustantulikukan tavoin runsaskukintohaaraista tulikukkakarkulaista: käentulikukka ja jättitulikukka. Kaikki 3 lajia ovat komeita ja kookkaita. Pustantulikukan lehdet ovat ehytlaitaiset, käen- ja jättitulikukan nyhälaitaiset. Kun kukkia tarkastelee läheltä, voi niissäkin nähdä eron: pustantulikukalla kukkien heteet ovat ponsia myöten karvaisia, käen- ja jättitulikukalla palhot ovat karvaisia, ponnet karvattomia. Jättitulikukan kaikki palhot ovat karvaisia, käentulikukalla 2 alinta on kaljuja. Käentulikukasta löytyy myös lähes valkokukkaisia versioita. Lajin nimi englanniksi onkin White mullein.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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