Verbascum nigrum aka Black Mullein


Verbascum nigrum, commonly known as black mullein or dark mullein, is a biennial or short-lived perennial herbaceous plant in the Verbascum genus. Native to dry open sites in temperate Europe and the Mediterranean region, it can reach heights of 0.5–1.5 m (1.6–4.9 ft). This ornamental plant forms clumps of hairy, dark green leaves that create basal clusters. From these clusters, slender columns of warm yellow flowers with purple stamens emerge, blooming from early summer to early autumn. The Verbascum genus comprises around 360 species of flowering plants in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, mainly found in Europe and Asia. These plants can be biennial, perennial, or rarely annuals or subshrubs, growing up to 0.5 to 3 meters (1.6 to 9.8 ft) tall. They initially develop a dense rosette of leaves at ground level before producing a tall flowering stem. The leaves are arranged spirally and are often densely hairy, although some species may be glabrous. The flowers have five symmetrical petals, with colors ranging from yellow, orange, red-brown, purple, blue, to white. The fruit is a capsule containing numerous tiny seeds. Verbascum nigrum prefers a calcareous or neutral soil in full sun and is cultivated as an attractive addition to gardens.

Common names

Black Mullein, Dark Mullein

How to care for Black Mullein


If you're looking for a plant that offers a moderate level of challenge, Black Mullein is a great choice to test your gardening skills.


Black Mullein should be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.


Black Mullein loves a well-draining soil. Perlite and vermiculite help with drainage, while coco coir adds organic matter, so a good potting soil mix will have all three. You can improve store-bought soil by adding some perlite to it.


Black Mullein requires abundant, bright, and direct light to thrive. The best placement for this plant is within one foot of a window to ensure it receives enough light. If you live in an area with more extreme weather, such as hot summers or cold winters, you may need to adjust the placement of the plant accordingly. During hot summer months, it is important to place the plant away from full sun, as this can cause the leaves to yellow or burn. During cold winter months, it is best to move the plant closer to the window to take advantage of the extra light that can help it survive. By keeping an eye on the current weather in your area, you can make sure your Dark Mullein is always in the right place to thrive.


There is no verified data on the toxicity of this plant in the records of Ploi. If any person, including yourself, a family member, or a pet, consume plant material with an uncertain toxicity level, it is advisable to seek the advice of a healthcare expert.


Repotting the Black Mullein should be done either when it has doubled in size or on a yearly basis, whichever occurs sooner. Fresh potting soil with all the required nutrients, refreshed annually, will provide the plant with all the necessary sustenance, making the use of fertilizer unnecessary. Keep in mind that plants receive their energy from the sun, not fertilizer.

Region of origin

Black Mullein’s native range is Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, Siberia, Macedonia, Caucasus.

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