Biennial herb from a taproot; stems single, erect, 0.5-1.5 m tall, angled, stalked-glandular upward especially in the inflorescence, smooth below.
Basal leaves in a rosette, broadly lanceolate to oblong, 5-25 cm long, tapering to a short-stalked base, coarsely toothed and sometimes also wavy-lobed; stem leaves numerous, alternate, progressively reduced upward, becoming unstalked, with clasping leaf-bases, the margins with sharp triangular teeth.
Inflorescence a rather open, bracted, spike-like, terminal cluster, occasionally with additional axillary clusters, of numerous stalked flowers, the stalks 8-15 mm long; corollas yellow or less commonly whitish, wheel-shaped, 2-3 cm across, 5-lobed, the lobes nearly equal, the tube very short; calyces glandular-hairy, much shorter than the flower stalks, deeply 5-lobed, the lobes narrowly elliptic; stamens 5, the filaments covered with purple-knobbed hairs.
Capsules, nearly globe-shaped, 6-8 mm long; seeds numerous, longitudinally ridged.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
1. Plants more or less densely stalked-glandular upward, essentially smooth below; leaves green.......................Verbascum blattaria
1. Plants woolly throughout with branched, non-glandular hairs; leaves greyish.
2. Inflorescences loose, often branching at the base; leaves unstalked, not decurrent on the stem or only slightly so; plants loosely woolly...........................Verbascum phlomoides
2. Inflorescences dense, simple; leaves stalked, at least below, decurrent on the stem, usually as far as the next leaf below; plants densely woolly............................Verbascum thapsus