Great Mullein - Verbascum thapsus

Alternative names
Aaron's Rod

Medium to tall, soft greyish, or whitish woolly plant to 2 metres, though often less. Flowers yellow 12 to 35 mm in dense woolly spike like raceme, occasionally branched below.

Similar Species

Several other Mulleins with white-woolly stems and leaves have been recorded in VC55

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

This is a difficult genus, compounded by a large number of hybrids, and garden escapes that may become established briefly in the wild.  

Upper and middle stem leaves are decurrent. The 3 upper stamens are reniform (kidney-shaped) and the two lower are decurrent; the style is capitate (with a knob-like stigma)

Recording advice

A photograph of the whole plant, and details of flowers.


Waste ground, scrub, roadsides and rough grassland.

When to see it

June to August.

Life History


UK Status

Common in England and Wales scarcer elsewhere.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 132 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Common Mullein, Great Mullein
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
01/01/1979 (Patricia Evans)
Last record:
07/07/2023 (Calow, Graham)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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