PDA

View Full Version : common mullein



wareagle69
09-03-2010, 06:25 AM
verbascum thapsus
one of my favorite plants to eat, but have noticed something i have not sen before and would like others to look also.
on the second year plant, which is the one with the stalk, i noticed that the mature stalk had statred to dry out and turn brown, a sign fall is coming, but now i see a few inches up top of green growth and yellow flower, i find that odd, just wondering if any one else has noticed this?

your_comforting_company
09-03-2010, 06:57 AM
I have one that is already dead, ready for harvesting for friction fire, and another that is dying back. The leaves are wilting, but it still has flowers on the top of the spike. I have one other second year plant that is still in full bloom, and I'm still harvesting leaves from it for teas and incense.
To answer the question, I did notice that sometimes they still bloom even when they are on the decline for fall/winter. I thought it strange, as most plants flower, seed, then die back, but mullein seems to be an exception. Even the dying plant will still bloom oddly enough.
If I get off work before dark today, I'll try to snap pics of all 3 for comparison and perhaps more discussion. The one that is dead now is actually a 3rd year plant, as strange as that is... It was already developing a flower stalk when I transplanted it last year. That stalk bloomed and several more stalks came on this year.

rwc1969
09-03-2010, 11:58 AM
I haven't noticed that, but will keep an eye out for it to see.

nevermore
12-09-2010, 08:14 AM
I have many of these growing in my yard every year. I have always considered them as pests. I will be looking at them in a new light from now on. Any tips on harvesting and storage?

hunter63
12-09-2010, 12:54 PM
Glad this was brought up again...did take some pic's last summer.
So, This is what y'all are talking about right?
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y139/hunter63/DSCF0176.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y139/hunter63/DSCF0177.jpg

As you can see it thrives on poor soil.

your_comforting_company
12-09-2010, 05:57 PM
That is it precisely H. You always find it in places nothing else likes to grow. It's easy to transplant and will grow in good soil too, provided it gets a little water every now and then.
It's a very useful weed. I hope you'll keep at least a few around. Makes handy TP if nothing else :D

nevermore
12-09-2010, 05:57 PM
That's what it looks like. I did a lot or yard work the last few years and moved a lot of soil with a skid steer. I have lots of sand and gravel around with several of these plants. I've been pulling them up and throwing them away.

I'm not an expert but I'm pretty sure that's it. I live close to wareagle69, so I think I'll get him to positive ID them for me.

your_comforting_company
12-09-2010, 06:00 PM
The one H posted looks exactly the same as the ones in my yard, only his are the first year rosettes and mine are second year. I'm in South GA, so it's widespread without much variations. It's hard to mistake this one for anything else, but positive ID is ALWAYS a good idea.

hunter63
12-09-2010, 07:52 PM
I was pretty sure that's what it was, when we were talking about it before, took some pic's and had them in the camera till today.

Got plenty.
Good to know, especially the TP part..........

rwc1969
12-10-2010, 12:46 AM
As to WE's original question about them refruiting. I did notice late in the fall this year after several frosts a newly flowering stalk of mullein. It didn't re-flower, but it was a new bolt and I thought it was strange and have not seen it before. It was pretty cool though as there was a rosette, a flowering stalk, and a dead stalk all in a line within 5' or so of each other, every stage of growth, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year. Third year meaning it died last fall, but is still standing. I took a quick vid of it for ID purposes, but haven't had time to upload it yet. IIRC, it was late October, early November when I saw it.

wareagle69
12-10-2010, 09:40 AM
That's what it looks like. I did a lot or yard work the last few years and moved a lot of soil with a skid steer. I have lots of sand and gravel around with several of these plants. I've been pulling them up and throwing them away.

I'm not an expert but I'm pretty sure that's it. I live close to wareagle69, so I think I'll get him to positive ID them for me.

the one thing i have noticed around here is when you disturb the soil lots of wonderful weeds start growing, and mullien is one of the first.
I don't do another day shift until wednesday, but i will bring some pics and a recipe that the kids will love as a desert
WE

wareagle69
12-10-2010, 09:43 AM
good pics hunter....

gryffynklm
12-10-2010, 10:07 AM
the one thing i have noticed around here is when you disturb the soil lots of wonderful weeds start growing, and mullien is one of the first.


We funny you mention disturbing soil. A friend replaced the floor including the joists on one room in her house. soil had to be removed to keep the joists off the soil. That part of the building was dated to about 1850. The plants that came up were amazing. She had a botanist take a look at what was growing. some samples and photos were taken and some very old plant varieties were found that haven't been seen in this area for quite some time.

She saved a lot of seed pods in baggies with a polaroid of the plant.

wareagle69
12-10-2010, 10:17 AM
i noticed this lasy year when digging up some top soil and clay to replace with some gravel in my pasture in front of the barn for better drainage, anyways i piled up several piles and this year lots of pigweed, and mustard
in my sand gravel mix i had thislte and mullien growing, so now i disturb soil every fall and will harvest next year, what an easy way to garden
i am trying this with my asparagus and stining nettle this year also

rwc1969
12-10-2010, 10:18 AM
Here's the vid showing all stages of growth. This was taken the second week of November long after most other Mullein have died and dried.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IZ9gaqVKXs

hunter63
12-10-2010, 02:52 PM
the one thing i have noticed around here is when you disturb the soil lots of wonderful weeds start growing, and mullien is one of the first..........
WE

LOL, you can say that again, so how come grass grows in the driveway and side walk cracks, but won't in the lawn.............

gryffynklm

That's really cool, wonder what they all were?
Good job to have the piece of mind to collect the samples, and try to identify.
That would have been missed by, say, 98% of the population.

Rick
12-10-2010, 02:58 PM
So many plants prefer disturbed soil. The Wild Mustards, Poke, Dandelion (of course), Purslane, Wild Onion, Clover and Mullien. There are probably many more but those come to mind.

ClayPick
12-15-2010, 09:54 AM
verbascum thapsus
one of my favorite plants to eat, but have noticed something i have not sen before and would like others to look also.
on the second year plant, which is the one with the stalk, i noticed that the mature stalk had statred to dry out and turn brown, a sign fall is coming, but now i see a few inches up top of green growth and yellow flower, i find that odd, just wondering if any one else has noticed this?

Plants like most things will do their best to survive. The mullein you saw is exhausted from flowering and has been through its highest demand for nutrient. Because of the shorter days and cooling ground temperature and the fact itís a biennial your mullein is struggling to stay alive with little help from photosynthesis. What itís doing now is really neat (at least I think so.) The major nutrients within a plant are quite mobile through the phloem tissue and others are not, observation of this is a great way to spot nutrient deficiency in plants. Your mullein is summoning what nutrient it has left in its tissue and transporting it to that one last node in an effort to keep going.

wildWoman
12-22-2010, 09:44 PM
I ordered in mullein seeds and planted them last spring, looking forward to harvesting the flowers and using them in salves next summer.

danmc
04-07-2011, 01:53 PM
verbascum thapsus
one of my favorite plants to eat,

You can eat mullein? What part? How do you prepare it?

I've used the dried stalk for a hand drill and simmered the leaves and inhaled the steam but had no idea any was edible.

I've not seen new green growth late in the year when it was starting to dry out, but have not looked for that in particular either. Dunno about the rest of you folks but I can't count the number of times where I finally learned to recognize a new tree or plant only to find that the species in question is all over and I'd been walking/running/driving past it all the time and never noticed.

your_comforting_company
04-07-2011, 10:00 PM
You can eat mullein? What part? How do you prepare it?
Dunno about the rest of you folks but I can't count the number of times where I finally learned to recognize a new tree or plant only to find that the species in question is all over and I'd been walking/running/driving past it all the time and never noticed.

Fresh opened flowers and the leaves. battered and fried in EVOO. I have not personally eaten it, but I do burn it and inhale the smoke. It makes me cough a couple times then I can breathe better, and one of my wife's asthmatic friends uses it the same way and it helps her (at least she tells me it does).

I love that feeling of discovering something that's been there all along. It opens up a feeling of wonder for me. How did I miss that all this time?!?!!

Rick
04-08-2011, 07:34 AM
I think the coughing is there for a reason, too. Just sayin'.

your_comforting_company
04-08-2011, 05:52 PM
It's mucilaginous, meaning it causes your mucous membranes to excrete, helping to clear congestion and cough out the "bad stuff".
Hey, it works for me!