Frequent to common throughout the state. This mullein prefers a dry, sandy or gravelly soil and is found principally in pastures, idle fields, and waste places along roadsides. It is a common weed of pastures because stock do not eat it.
Springer et al. 2009
Duration: Biennial Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Biennial herbs with tall, stout, leafy stems to 200 cm tall, herbage densely wooly with branched, nonglandular hairs. Leaves: Cauline leaves elliptic to oblanceolate, 10-40 cm long, clasping with wings extending down the stem, densely wooly on both sides, margins shallowly crenate to almost entire, the first year leaves in a basal rosette. Flowers: Yellow, the corolla rotate, borne in dense, elongate spikes 30 cm long or more, the calyx 5-parted, the lobes lanceolate to ovate, stamens 5, some or all of the filaments bearded, anthers yellow, red, or orange. Fruits: Capsule ellipsoid to subglobose with small brown seeds less than 1 mm long. Ecology: Found in disturbed soils on roadsides, waste areas, and burned areas, from 5,000-7,000 ft (1524-2134 m); flowering April-September. Notes: This plant is tall and fuzzy, with herbage very soft to the touch, it is usually easily noticeable from a distance, and very pretty when in flower. Can be invasive in burned areas. Ethnobotany: Used as an expectorant in teas and tinctures. Etymology: Verbascum comes from the Latin barbarascum, meaning with a beard, while thapsus means of or from Sicily. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010
Stout, erect, 1-2 m, usually densely gray-tomentose throughout; lvs entire or shallowly crenate, the lower oblong or oblanceolate, to 3 dm, petioled, the upper progressively reduced, sessile, decurrent along the stem to the next lf below; spike-like infl very dense, 2-5 dm נ3 cm, usually solitary; cor yellow, 1-2.5 cm wide; upper 3 filaments short, densely white-villous, with short anthers; lower 2 filaments much longer, glabrous or nearly so, with linear anthers; stigma capitate; 2n=32, 36. Native of Europe, now abundant throughout most of temperate N. Amer., especially in disturbed sites. June-Sept. A hybrid with no. 4 [Verbascum phlomoides L.] is V. ثerneri Fritsch.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.