Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Trees & Shrubs

Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)


The Great Mullein, also called common Mullein, is a biennial plant, meaning that it will complete its lifecycle in a timespan of two years, reaching in the first year the average maximum height of 2 meters.

This plant is easily recognisable by the small, yellow flowers that are often growing on the tall stems. The leaves mostly grow on the bottom, in a very large basal rosette formation. While it can grow virtually everywhere, it often prefers soil that has been disturbed and well-lit habitats.

The plant is considered to spread a lot of seeds, but they require a disturbed and open soil to get into the germination-phase, which makes the dissemination effort unfruitful.


This shrub needs open and well-lit areas to grow, and is rarely found in large quantities. Although populations are hard to be permanently removed, individuals are relatively easy to eliminate without even using any tools. This species is quite common on Samos, in Greece and in the Mediterranean in general.

Protection status

This species is listed as “Not evaluated” by the IUCN Red List.

Interesting facts

In historical records, the leaves of the Mullein were often used as a torch.

The flowers are used as a natural way to dye things yellow or green.

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