digging dog nursery mendocino coast   garden perennials from digging dog nursery

Verbascum (Mullein)
at Digging Dog

Including Verbascum chaixii, Verbascum hybridum, Verbascum nigrum, Verbascum olympicum, and Verbascum phoeniceum




This genus has a host of common names, including ‘Beggar’s Blanket’ and ‘Old Man’s Flannel’. In England, the very poor used to put the thick leaves into their shoes for warmth. It is also said that when fish eat the seeds, they are stupefied and can be gathered by hand.

Although most of the more than 300 species are biennials, our offerings are perennials. Though some are dwarfs and some are giants, nearly all have fuzzy stamens and prefer very well drained sandy or rocky soil. We like to use them in the rock garden as specimens or for naturalizing.

View a slideshow of plant images from this genus

Verbascum chaixii ‘Sixteen Candles’  full sun

Grounded by gray-green rosettes, these upstanding candelabras of copious, violet-eyed, sunshine-hued flowers stage a truly incandescent spectacle. Irregular scallops, net-veining and long petioles define its dynamic large basal leaves. Preferring a somewhat dry, well drained site, ‘Sixteen Candles’s proud yellow spires command attention alongside Nepeta reichenbachiana.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 3-1/4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Verbascum chaixii ‘Sixteen Candles’ (P-1287)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum chaixii ‘Wedding Candles’  full sun

Illuminated tapers stage droves of tightly set pure white flowers centered by fuzzy purple filaments and bright orange anthers. The flat-faced blooms shine above pearly green textured leaves.

Conveying a bright floral lift all summer long, this undemanding perennial can be sited in drier garden areas with Perovskia abrotanoides or Phygelius ‘Snow Queen’.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 3'–3-1/2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Verbascum chaixii ‘Wedding Candles’ (P-1417)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum ‘Clementine’  full sun
Verbascum  Clementine

When British plant breeders, Vic Johnstone and Claire Wilson, developed more than a thousand hybrids utilizing various wild Verbascum species, they chose only the best dozen seedlings and dubbed them ‘The Riverside Hybrids’; this splendid toasty hued prodigy was one of them. Sprouting from handsome rippled green basal leaves, numerous, well-branched straight stems bolster burgundy flushed button-like buds on tall floral spikes.

Large and luscious, wide-open coppery orange flowers, festooned with a central cluster of woolly light violet filaments, lend warm vertical accents to Allium ‘Gladiator’.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 4'–5' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Verbascum ‘Clementine’ (P-1677)
Each $8.50
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Verbascum ‘Gainsborough’  full sun  new plant
Verbascum  Gainsborough

This Verbascum’s hushed colors are soothing to the senses and easy to blend with other perennials. Centered by delicate orange stamens, the cupped, dusky primrose yellow flowers and cream-colored buds squeeze onto numerous branched candelabra-style spires. Downy gray leaves converge at the base of the statuesque presentation, while Echinops ‘Arctic Glow’s snow white spheres make a pleasing counterpoint.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 4'–4-1/2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Verbascum ‘Gainsborough’ (P-1556)
Each $8.00
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Verbascum hybridum ‘Wega’  full sun  new plant
Banana Custard Mullein

A felted biennial rosette of ample, grayish green ripple-edged foliage unleashes spectacular 6 ft. tall luminous flowering stalks. The crowded, blunt-tipped stout stems house fuzzy, round silver buds and large saucer-shaped blossoms bathed in soft custard yellow hues with orange anthers. These long blooming, multibranched beauties are some of the last flowers to grace our mixed border, delivering glowing vertical accents ‘til October’s end.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 6' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Verbascum hybridum ‘Wega’ (P-1416)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum nigrum ‘Album’  full sun
Verbascum nigrum Album Verbascum nigrum Album

With flower spikes reaching over 3-½ ft. tall, ‘Album’ is truly dramatic. Its many white flowers are tinged with crimson at the base of each petal and accented by golden orange stamens. The large basal leaves are coarse, deep green and textured. Their undulating margins, and often their stems, are tinted a deep burgundy color.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 4' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Verbascum nigrum ‘Album’ (P-0320)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum olympicum  full sun

A remarkable perennial of Olympian proportions, Candlewick originates in Europe’s Bithynian Mountains. Large, felted, wavy-edged leaves form a huge, silvery basal rosette that lasts through the winter. In summer, woolly “candles” branch out at the base, and soar skyward with cheerful clusters of bright yellow flowers. Outstanding as a feature plant in a shrubby Mediterranean border, this monumental Mullein appreciates a dry spot.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 6'–8' high x 2'–3' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Verbascum olympicum (P-0973)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Flush of White’  full sun
Verbascum phoeniceum Flush of White

Attired in pure white, the slender flowering spikes show off an abundance of frosty, yellow-eyed blooms. This illuminated display arises from ripple-edged green foliage, which achieves a tidy, compact rosette. ‘Flush of White’s uniform snowy coloring is unusual for a Verbascum, while its smaller stance becomes an added bonus where space is limited.

Blooms May.

Size: 2'–2-1/2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Flush of White’ (P-1288)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Rosetta’  full sun
Verbascum phoeniceum Rosetta

'Rosetta' puts on a colorful flower display, bejeweled in pretty carmine-pink hues. Anchored by comely, crimpled dark green leaves, the tall spires host sumptuously hued, gold-centered, saucer-shaped flowers that celebrate the vivid hues of Phygelius ‘New Sensation’ and Liatris ‘Floristan Violett’.

Blooms May–August.

Size: 2'–2-1/2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Rosetta’ (P-1229)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Violetta’  full sun
Purple Mullein
Verbascum phoeniceum Violetta

As a precursor to the royal floral show of this delicate Mullein, enchanting buds swell, resembling tiny, dark satin pillows. A deep green, flat rosette of oval-shaped, crinkled leaves provides an attractive base for the airy and richly colored flowering spikes. Brightened by gilt stamens, papery purple blooms are flat-faced and look fabulous in arrangements. Self-seeding easily, and shorter in stature than most Verbascums, ‘Violetta’ is perfect for the smaller garden.

Blooms May–August.

Size: 2'–3' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Verbascum phoeniceum ‘Violetta’ (P-0972)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum ‘Pink Domino’  full sun
Verbascum  Pink Domino

Romantic shades of rose-pink dress up these dark-eyed saucer-shaped blooms. Standing straight and tall, the lovely spikes rise from a rich green, purple-streaked, ripply rosette. Sprinkle among Monarda ‘Violet Queen’ and Eryngium ‘Blue Jackpot’ for divergent flower forms and an unrivaled feminine touch.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 4'–4-1/2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Verbascum ‘Pink Domino’ (P-1557)
Each $7.75
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Verbascum ‘White Domino’  full sun

A stately stand of tall branched racemes laden with large, white cupped blooms distinguishes this new Verbascum cultivar. Fuzzy basal foliage, steeped in soft grayish greens, launches the crisp and classic display that shows a lively touch of color when reddish purple floral filaments appear.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 3-1/4'–4' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Verbascum ‘White Domino’ (P-1621)
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Latest News

Give the Gift that keeps on Growing!


Digging Dog’s Holiday Collection

Stumped by what to gift those folks that already have enough "stuff"? How about going green and giving a living present?

This year’s seasonal, gift-quality offerings feature an eclectic array of horticultural treasures that promise a little something for everyone, sure to delight those gardeners on your gift list.

Our selection of grasses, perennials and shrubs can be showcased in diverse garden settings across the country. Most are easily cultivated, many oblige a wide variety of growing conditions and all of them are in some way outstanding. We wish you a happy holiday season!

Order a $50.00 minimum of plants to receive 10% off your purchase. Plus, we’ll wrap them in silver & tie them with a bow for FREE! 15% Discount on purchases of $100 or more for any plants listed on our website or available here at the nursery! 15% Discount on Gift Certificates of $100 or more. That’s $100 worth of plants for only $85! (Purchase one for yourself... cash it in on your Spring 2016 order!) For discounts, place code “Holiday 2015” in the Comment Box on the online order form; for gift-wrap, place code “Gift-wrap” in the Comment Box. Sale dates are November 20 thru December 20, with the last ship date being December 21st, 2015. If you wish to receive your order by Christmas: All orders must be received no later than Sunday, December 20 to be delivered by December 24!

Gift Certificates purchased at a discount are not redeemable towards discounted plants. Gift Certificates are non-refundable. In the event that a problem occurs with a discounted plant, please contact us immediately. If applicable, a credit memo or refund check will be issued.

Click here to view Digging Dog's Holiday 2015 Collection

Current Staff’s Favorite Plant

staff favorite plant

Our favorite plant this week: We love Cercidiphyllum japonicum for it's cozy array of fall colors, and it's divinely scented leaves. Perhaps Japan’s largest shade tree, normally multi- trunked Katsura manifests a gracious symmetry; trained to a single trunk it provides a narrower, almost columnar shape. Its dappled shade is a cordial host for Corylopsis. Grows moderately to rapidly.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum

More news, events, and favorite plants

Customer Comment:

“I found Digging Dog in a gardening magazine and am so thrilled I did. I went to their website after reading about them and was so impressed I immediately placed an order ( after checking with Garden Watchdog of course !) My plants were delayed 3 weeks due to the hot weather. Each Monday someone from Digging Dog called, explained the situation and explained the delay. What service!! My plants arrived today happy healthy and good size. I could not be happier and will shop Digging Dog much in the future.”

~F.L. in New Hampshire

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