Moth Mullein – Verbascum blattaria

I am too near, too clear a thing for you,

Moth Mullein flowers

Moth Mullein flowers

                                                      A flower of mullein in a crack of wall,

                                                       The villagers half see, or not at all….

By Lizette Woodworth Reese

This biennial import from Europe and Africa has escaped cultivation in North America and is considered an invasive plant in Colorado and a weed elsewhere. It was first recorded in Pennsylvania in 1818, and was recorded in Michigan in 1840. It has since been found in almost every one of the continental United States, as well as in southern Canada and even Hawaii. Like other biennials it begins life a ground hugging rosette, it is not until its second year than a central stalk rises and bears flowers.

Unlike its more widespread cousin Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) it is not used frequently in herbal medicine. But there was a single reference found to research being done on its use for the treatment of cancer. There is some evidence that it may be useful as a non-narcotic pain killer.

A study conducted in 1974 focused on the insecticidal properties of Moth Mullein. It found that 53% of mosquito larvae were killed. This report supports the uses that New England women used it for…keeping moths from the winter woolens!

To check out my previous post on this plant check it out here

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