Purple mullein Verbascum phoeniceum Photo/Illustration: Alain Charest 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Purple mullein (Verbascum phoeniceum) Genus: Verbascum This biennial or short-lived perennial species is one of the earliest mulleins to bloom. Its showy blossoms of dark-purple, violet, pink, or white open along slender 3-foot spires for about two weeks in early summer. Its shiny dark green leaves are ground-hugging and evergreen. It has naturalized in some regions of the U.S. Noteworthy Characteristics: Verbascum phoeniceum is commonly found on dry, stony hillsides and open woodlands, but it is well-adapted to cottage, gravel, and rock gardens or naturalized areas. It self-sows but not as a nuisance, and many seedlings vary slightly from the parent cultivar, thus creating welcome surprises. Care: Provide well-drained soil in full sun. Verbascums tend to flop in fertile soil. Propagation: Sow seeds in spring in containers under a cold frame. Divide in spring. Problems: Powdery mildew and other fungal leaf spots. Caterpillars. Overview Height 1 ft. to 3 ft. Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft. Growth Habit Clumps Growth Pace Moderate Grower Light Full Sun to Part Shade Moisture Dry to Medium Maintenance Low Characteristics Self Seeds, Showy Flowers Bloom Time Early Summer Flower Color Pink Flower, Purple/Lavender Flower, White Flower Foliage Color Evergreen Uses Beds and Borders, Naturalizing, Suitable as Annual Style Cottage Garden Seasonal Interest Spring Interest Tolerance Deer Tolerant, Drought Tolerant, Frost Tolerant Type Perennials Related Plants to Verbascum phoeniceum 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Common sage Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten' 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Meadow clary Salvia pratensis 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sage Salvia nemorosa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Common sage Salvia officinalis View the discussion thread.