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SOLVED: Is this really Lamb's Ear?

Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

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

Thumbnail by WaWild1
Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

the photo is wee bit small but it looks like a Verbascum

Newark, OH(Zone 5a)

can you get in closer? It's a bit hard to see

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

Moth mullen

Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

Yes Lamb's ear,Verbscum thapsus,Common Mullen,Not blattaria,Moth mullen,
The Indians used this one to line the bottom insoles of moccasin's,a very nice plant.
Root

Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

Lamb's Ear is one reason we should use Latin names. 'Lamb's Ears' to me is Stachys

I'm with Mark. This isn't Lambs' Ear - Verbascum thapsus. http://plantsdatabase.com/go/849/

Dave

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

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 :)

Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

Mark Your right ,I'm wrong,(Humble Bow here.)I grew up knowing this as Lamb's ear.
Root.

Milo, IA(Zone 5a)

Helen Von Stein, is not supposed to bloom. Although, it did for me one year. The bloom looked just like the small variety. It is a creeper, the leaves are quite abit bigger than the regular Lambs ear.

Mcallen, TX(Zone 8a)

Debby is correct

This IS helen Von Stein, favored for its larger leaves and for not flowering. (some peopelk thing the flowers are trashy).

Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

we'll have to see when the flowers open what plant it is

Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

Wow...thank you all for the great response!! This monster started to bloom this morning...I've taken a few close up photos.

The lower leaves are losing their fuzz and the upper leaves seem to be shedding. This baby is changing everyday.

thank you again for the great information...WaWild1

Thumbnail by WaWild1
Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

A little closer to the new buds. Oh, and yes, the leaves are firm not soft and pliable like the Stachys I'm used to seeing.

Thumbnail by WaWild1
Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

I see yellow flowers about to burst open!

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

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

Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

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.

Thumbnail by WaWild1
Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

This ia a close up of the flowers.

Thumbnail by WaWild1
Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

at 8 feet it could be V olympicum

Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

Hi Mark....I was wrong about the height. My hubby measured it and it's only 6 foot tall..being a short person...I thought the fence was 8 foot tall not 6...hee hee

Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

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

In the south they germinate shortly after falling, in the late summer/early fall, and then spend the winter as little plants. Come spring, they shoot up and bloom.

Dave

Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

lucky you we have to wait two years

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.

Dave

Seattle, WA(Zone 8a)

Interesting Thread!

WaWild1 - check out this hyperlink: http://www.alvita.com/Tealist/mullein.html

Rutholive: Just in Eastern Washington in George. These were growing everywhere. I was really admiring the foilage and thought long and hard about adopting one!

And the funny part- while weeding this week, I think I found one growing in my yard. Will post pic here.

Thumbnail by Sue_WA
Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

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

Seattle, WA(Zone 8a)

A peek over the fence reveals the source...our neighbors have them growing. But very far from the fence...A bird?

A freebie! LOL!

Its fun to see the pansies and violas that come up each year too...I get some of theirs, they get some of mine! Part of the fun!

Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

the wind is more likely to blame. The seeds are like dust.

That's strange Mark, if I sow Verbascum right after they seed they flower the following year here.

I don't think it's cold winters as these are native to some quite warm medeterranean countries, perhaps it's your extra long springs?

Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

very puzzling

Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

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

Edited to give todays height...8 foot, 5 inches

This message was edited Sunday, Jun 22nd 2:28 PM

Thumbnail by WaWild1
Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

I don't think they take well to moving,that sure is a monster!!!

Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

Oh, rootdoctor..I was afraid of that! Guess I'll just have to leave it be then...dang! Well, guess there is always next year..lol

Antrim, Northern Ire, United Kingdom(Zone 8b)

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

Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

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.

Georgetown, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

Aimee..thank you for the info. Guess, I better keep it around for a while. I'm just might try the stalk candle, this guy is putting off lots of new one.

I also heard that the indians used the leaves to line moccasins...amazing how useful this giant weed is. Again, thank you.

Landenberg, PA(Zone 6b)

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.

George

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