Robust biennial herb from a taproot; stems single, erect, 0.5-2 m tall; stem, leaves and inflorescence densely woolly with star-shaped or forking-branched, felted hairs.
Basal leaves in a rosette, broadly lanceolate, 10-45 cm long, tapering to a stalked base, vaguely round-toothed to entire; stem leaves numerous, alternate, progressively reduced upward, becoming unstalked, with clasping leaf-bases decurrent along the stem.
Inflorescence a dense, bracted, spike-like, terminal cluster, 10-50 cm long, of numerous very short-stalked flowers; corollas yellow, wheel-shaped, 1.5-3 cm across, 5-lobed, the lobes nearly equal, concave, the tube very short; calyces 5-12 mm long, hairy, deeply 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate; stamens 5, the 3 upper filaments white- or yellow-long-hairy, the 2 lower filaments longer, smooth or nearly so.
Capsules, broadly egg-shaped, 7-10 mm long, woolly; 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
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|BG(32), ESSF(12), ICH(18), IDF(177), MS(25), PP(62)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
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