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.

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map