Great Mullein is a biennial of dry, poor places, roadsides and wasteland, but it is useful and not out of place at the back of borders or in between shrubs. In the first year, rosettes of grey woolly leaves grow and in the second tall, robust spikes of pale yellow flowers emerge – up to 2m.tall. It is also known as Aaron’s Rod, Adam’s Flannel or Donkey’s Ears because of it’s softness. In herbal medicine infusions of this plant have been used to alleviate coughs, especially consumptive coughs, and asthma. Yellow dye from the flowers can be used to brighten fair hair and leaf poultices used for bruises and rheumatic pains.
Sow in the autumn, on bare ground, where it is to flower and in a sunny spot. Usually it needs a winter before it germinates, or it can be given a pre-chill, put in damp sand in the fridge for 3-4weeks before sowing.
pic courtesy of AnRo0002 Creative Commons 1.0 universalpublic domain