Verbascum thapsus L.

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)


Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

common mullein, woolly mullein

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit a 2-chambered, stellate-pubescent, broad-ovoid capsule, 8–10 mm long, containing many seeds.

Seed oblong to trapezoidal or rectangular in outline, widest at the truncate apex and gradually tapered to a broad but usually slightly rounded base, cross-section terete, 0.6–1 mm long x 0.4–0.6 mm diameter. Surface brown with darker reticulations on top of wavy longitudinal grooves and ribs.

Hilum a slightly raised dark scar or obscured by small funicular remnant.

Similar Species

It is probably not possible to distinguish this species from Verbascum virgatum based on seed alone.

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)