Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various Eurasian plants of the genus Verbascum, especially V. thapsus, a tall plant having closely clustered yellow flowers and leaves covered with dense woolly down. Also called flannel leaf, velvet plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several European and Asian plants, of the genus Verbascum, that have yellow flowers and downy leaves; the velvet plant

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any plant of the genus Verbascum. They are tall herbs having coarse leaves, and large flowers in dense spikes. The common species, with densely woolly leaves, is Verbascum Thapsus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various plants of the genus Verbascum having large usually woolly leaves and terminal spikes of yellow or white or purplish flowers

Etymologies

Middle English moleine, from Anglo-Norman, probably from mol, soft, from Latin mollis; see moil.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
14th century; Middle English moleyne, from Anglo-Norman moleine, from mol ‘soft’. The name evokes the plant's fluffy, downy leaves, also apparent in synonyms, such as feltwort, flannel leaf, and velvet plant. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • There is a kind of melancholy symbolism in this flower as it withdraws from the light, which is the complete opposite of bright yellow candles of great mullein burning in the sun.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • I laughed out loud when I saw the larger ears glued to foam and such for I had done something similar back speaking of dinosaurs! twenty years ago… I made containers for orchids and such for a gig in NY… a round ball with a water pic inserted… they became part of table arrangements for a birthday party on Park Ave. I suppose mullein leaves could be used in a similar way.

    More Moss Magic « Fairegarden

  • I like to grow some weeds in my garden – mullein being one of my favorite, but I also have some Prunella vulgaris that I got from my parents.

    Bloom Day/Weed Day July 2009 « Fairegarden

  • Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid no matter what the source; willow bark, mullein leaves or chemical reactor.

    Friday! October 16 – The Bleat.

  • First mullein flower spikes showing, also sumac flower masses.

    Not raining

  • Some people have found that inhaling the smoke from burning dried mullein leaves can halt an asthmatic attack, causing a relaxation of the respiratory muscles whose spasms prevent breathing during an attack.

    The insects come for our intrepid blogger and his husband.

  • The common name that I know this species by is wooly mullein.

    The insects come for our intrepid blogger and his husband.

  • An antispasmodic, mullein can relieve stomach cramps and help control diarrhea.

    Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible

  • Also rabbit-foot clover, mullein, day-lilies, and the first of the vexed purple loosestrife of the season.

    Sunday roadkill report

  • If injured, a bear can heal itself by touching the herb phlome or mullein.

    "I AM WMAM!"

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Comments

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  • from Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

    July 19, 2009

  • I just discovered this word today, reading W.S. Merwin.

    April 15, 2008