Friday, July 4, 2008

Verbascum - A Long Blooming Perennial

Finding perennials that bloom for a long period over the summer is always a bonus. And if you can find one that has good form and doesn't need staking, you've really got it made. You've probably seen the wild form in dry scrubby fields. Commonly called mullein, it has soft silver hairy leaves and pale yellow flowers.

The cultivated forms come in many different colours and sizes. The tag for this one seems to have been raked to the curb - but what I can tell you is that it is in its second year, and started to put out bloom about 3 weeks ago.

The only real downfall of Verbascum is that it may not be all that long-lived. This plant has put out a second crown at its base - so if the current plant dies, I'll have a second in its place. I'll also let some of the flowers go to seed so I'll be well hedged in order to have these pretty blooms for years to come.

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