HI ...I purchased this plant as Stachys "Countess Helen von Stein Zeppelin" last spring. It is now about 3 ft tall and 2-2 1/2 ft in diameter. It has never bloomed. The leaves are about 12" x 8". the photos does not show how big and furry this plant really is. I've looked up all the Stachys and none describe this one. oh, the fence behind it is 8ft tall.
Does anyone have one like this? Is it really a Lamb's ear? Will it produce off spring..none in 2 years yet? And finally will it flower?
Thanks for all your help. It has me baffeled...WaWild1
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mark Antrim, Northern Ire United Kingdom (Zone 8b)
The quickest test is to feel the leaves - are they rather stiff, or are they soft and flexible? If they're fairly stiff, I'd have to go with the majority here and say it's probably Verbascum thapsus (nice looking specimen :); if not, it could be Stachys, but since I've never raised 'Helen von Stein' I couldn't tell you for sure.
I've never heard V. thapsus called "Lamb's Ear", although I do find references to it being called "Lamb's Tongue" and the new growth is soft and somewhat similar to Stachys :)
Looks like common verbascum mullein to me. Altho I can't remember the bud stalk being so wooley. I have very alkaline soil and verbascum grows very easily here. The common one is everywhere, but not ready to bloom yet. Donna
I just wanted to share a pic of my Common Mallow (Stachy's Mallow..hahaha)one week from the date you identified for me. Though this is a common plant that grows everywhere...it is a first time for me to see. My husband and I love it!! Every hour it seems to grow and even more flowers bloom. As each flowers has fallen off...more bus appear. This plant never died back over the winter and started out at about 1 foot tall around the end of April...it is now 8 foot tall. hee hee...sure hope we don't get a ton of babies sprouting up next spring.
even so I would say the same. It will set millions of seeds this year but they are very erratic at germinating. You may only get a few a year. Next year all you will get will be a large rosette of leaves because they are biennial
Mark, I wonder if that is because your winters are more mild than they are here in the southern U.S. As I'm sure you know, it's the cold treatment that causes these bienniels to bloom, not any set amount of days.
Sue...that is so cool!!! Our plant looked very much like that after transplanting the potted plant (seedling) after about 2 months. Even though this growns wild...I'm sure happy to have it in my garden...it's been such fun watching it grow.
I loved the links everyone gave me...thank you all so much!!! WaWild1
I wanted to update you with a pic of this monster& my Hubby. My hubby WILL not left me move it..he says it will die...what do you think? It is taking the little nurshment I do have in my rocky garden soil away from everything else. (it reminds me of the plant in Little Shop of Horrors..FEED ME)
It's become a daily ritual for my DH and his friend to measure this big guy...they say they can actually watch it grow...hee hee
Looking back at my previous post...seems I still think it's cool and like watching it grow...Just NOT in my flower bed...ha ha ha
no perennial can be moved in the summer without doing it damage. there wouldnt be enough water pressure in the roots to keep it upright. anyway this Verbascum will die once it has set seeds. I wouldnt say it's taking too much food from your rockery
Thanks for the info Mark...it also answered why many of my perennials did not transplant well last year...guess i was lucky..because they did come back nicely this year. Sure wish this guy would go to seed soon...it just keeps blooming and blooming...that is why I though it was taking all the food from the soil..so it could keep growing. I am glad to know it's not.
The Indians dipped this bloom stalk in wax and used it as a candle. An infusion made from the leaves is good for colds, and the hot vapors were inhaled for throat irritation. You can dry the leaves to have on hand for this purpose, as well as soaking them in vinegar to make a poultice for external irritations. In Mexico, the dried leaves were smoked to treat asthma. The seeds are food for wildlife.
They are absolutely beautiful as the first year plant and are sure easy to weed out if you find them where you don't want them. We let a few grow in the flower garden every year to add accent. There is one which has a more branched spike with bigger flowers which I believe is called v. thapsus subspecies montanum which also grows wild in some areas around here. A much better plant though smaller overall.