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PlantFiles: Purple Mullein
Verbascum phoeniceum

Family: Scrophulariaceae (skrof-yoo-larr-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Verbascum (ver-BASK-um) (Info)
Species: phoeniceum (feen-ih-KEE-um) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive dicentra63 On Jun 28, 2007, dicentra63 from West Valley City, UT (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love the blooms, but the foliage gets really hammered when it gets hot and dry. I try to keep them well-watered; they look dry and miserable anyway.

Positive poppysue On Jan 22, 2003, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love these little verbascums. They put out some nice colors and combine well anywhere in the garden. Plants are generally biennial but I've had some live 2 years or more. It's a small plant and the foliage is a basal rosette at ground level. It's easy to sneak a few in anywhere there's an empty spot between plants.

Positive Terry On Jan 16, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This short-lived perennial is easily grown from seed; will bloom the first year if started early enough. I've planted these two years in a row, with very high germination rates (a six-cell pack became a full flat, with a lot of tossed seedlings to spare!)


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Kiowa, Colorado
Loveland, Colorado
Parker, Colorado
Augusta, Georgia
Barbourville, Kentucky
Ft Mitchell, Kentucky
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Grove City, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Salt Lake City, Utah
Santaquin, Utah
Underhill, Vermont
Ellsworth, Wisconsin

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