Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 18, 2011

From: Mason, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello- I would like to know what is this plant? It grows in part to full sun over a large area; gray fuzzy, quilted, pointed leaves. It is now about 6-10" tall plants but there are untrimmed 24-30" dried stalks. The gray-green stalks are starting to show tiny clusters of flower heads surrounding the stem near the top. So far, they have had only rain (not much!). I would attach a photo if I could.. Thank you.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Verbascum thapsus (common mullein).  It is an introduced plant from Eurasia and Africa and is considerered invasive or noxious over most of North America; however, herbalists are enthusiastic about its medicinal properties and these properties are probably why early settler's to North America imported it sometime in the late 1700s.  Here are more photos and information.

If this doesn't appear to be your plant, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identfication
July 30, 2009 - Hello - Can you help me ID a plant? There are a few growing in grassy areas off roadways in Luna, NM. I will attach photos in photo section. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Identity of a yellow-flowered wildflower with prickly burs
May 20, 2013 - Hi there. We have seen a wildflower, probably invasive, that is at least in Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties. We have tried to identify it without success, The structure of the plant is remark...
view the full question and answer

Fringe tree appropriate for Libertyville IL
July 05, 2009 - I live in Libertyville Illinois and admired a fringe tree on the Biltmore Estate. Are the weather & soil conditions conducive to having a fringe tree in this area?
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant, possibly giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)
January 30, 2008 - I am trying to identify a weed that was prevalant where I grew up in North Central Texas. It grows in low spots and along creeks. It has woody stalks with short spines, grows 3'- 6' tall, the leaves...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 01, 2009 - I'm trying to identify a bush/shrub that is approx. 6 ft. with leaves like an azalea but has orange hot air balloon shaped balls that turn to small orange flowers. Blooming now in May. Dies back ea...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.