Open the Advanced Search

Orange Mullein

Verbascum phlomoides

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland.

Yellow, 5 petals
The inflorescence is a closely-packed, leafy flower spike. Individual flowers are a deep yellow colour, not orange. The flowers measure about 3cm across. Similar in appearance to Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) but with deeper yellow flowers and longer stalks. The stigmas of Orange Mullein are spoon-shaped, whereas Great Mullein has club-shaped stigmas. Pollinated by insects.
A many-seeded capsule. The seeds are mature from August to October.
A biennial with pointed, greyish-green leaves.
Other Names:
Orange-spike Mullein, Woolly Mullein.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Verbascum phlomoides, also known as orange mullein or orange-spike mullein, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family and can grow up to 5 feet tall. It has spikes of large, orange or yellow-orange flowers that bloom in the late spring and early summer. The leaves are green and covered in fine, soft hairs, and the plant has a tall, densely branched stem. Verbascum phlomoides is not considered an invasive weed and it can be found in waste ground, roadsides, and along paths. It is not commonly used in traditional medicine or as a culinary herb, but it's commonly grown as an ornamental plant for its showy orange-colored flowers and attractive form.


Orange Mullein (Verbascum phlomoides) is a herbaceous plant belonging to the family Scrophulariaceae, native to Europe and Asia. The plant grows up to 1.5 meters in height and produces a rosette of leaves at the base, which are green-grey in color and covered with fine hairs. The leaves are lance-shaped, with a pointed tip and toothed edges. The stems of the plant are tall and erect, and produce clusters of bright orange flowers from late spring to early summer.

Orange Mullein has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The plant has a long history of use as a herbal remedy for respiratory ailments, including asthma, coughs, and bronchitis. The leaves and flowers of the plant contain compounds known as saponins, which have expectorant properties that help to loosen phlegm and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

In addition to its respiratory benefits, Orange Mullein has been used to treat a variety of other conditions. The plant has been used to relieve pain and inflammation in the joints, muscles, and nerves, and has been used topically to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Orange Mullein is also believed to have antimicrobial properties, and has been used as a natural treatment for infections. The plant has been used to treat urinary tract infections, ear infections, and skin infections, and has even been used as a natural remedy for tuberculosis.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Orange Mullein is also a popular ornamental plant. The bright orange flowers of the plant are showy and attractive, and make an excellent addition to gardens and landscapes. The plant is easy to grow and care for, and can be propagated by seed or by division.

While Orange Mullein is generally considered safe for most people, there are some precautions that should be taken when using the plant for medicinal purposes. The plant should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, as there is not enough research to determine its safety in these populations. Additionally, people with allergies to plants in the Scrophulariaceae family may experience an allergic reaction to Orange Mullein.

Orange Mullein, also known as Woolly Mullein, has a wide range of traditional uses in various cultures. For example, it has been used by Native Americans for its medicinal properties, including treating coughs and lung issues. In Europe, Orange Mullein has been used for centuries to soothe the digestive system and relieve constipation.

In addition to its traditional uses, Orange Mullein has been studied for its potential health benefits. Some research suggests that the plant may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which could be beneficial for preventing chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that Orange Mullein extract had significant antibacterial activity against several strains of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Another study published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine found that Orange Mullein extract had anti-inflammatory effects, reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body.

Orange Mullein is often used in traditional herbal preparations, such as teas, tinctures, and poultices. To make a tea, steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried Orange Mullein leaves and flowers in hot water for 10-15 minutes. The tea can be sweetened with honey to taste. Tinctures are made by steeping the plant in alcohol or vinegar for several weeks, and can be used in small doses as a natural remedy for respiratory infections and other conditions.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Orange Mullein is also a popular ingredient in natural skincare products. The plant's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it useful for treating skin irritations and infections. Orange Mullein extract is often found in creams and lotions designed to soothe and heal dry, irritated skin.

Orange Mullein is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. The plant can tolerate drought and poor soil conditions, making it a great choice for gardens in arid or rocky regions. In fact, Orange Mullein is often found growing wild along roadsides and in open fields.

The plant is typically propagated by seed, which should be sown in early spring or fall. The seeds should be sown thinly in a prepared seedbed and covered lightly with soil. The plants will begin to germinate within 2-3 weeks and can be transplanted once they are large enough to handle.

Orange Mullein can also be propagated by division. To divide the plant, simply dig up the root system and separate it into smaller sections. Each section should have several shoots and a good portion of the root system. Replant the divided sections in a prepared bed or pot and water thoroughly.

Orange Mullein is a biennial plant, meaning it grows leaves in the first year and flowers in the second year. However, it can often be treated as a perennial if the flower spikes are cut back before they set seed. This will encourage the plant to produce new growth and continue to bloom in subsequent years.

In addition to its medicinal and ornamental uses, Orange Mullein has a number of other practical uses. The plant's leaves have been used to stuff pillows and mattresses, as they are said to repel insects and provide a pleasant scent. The leaves and flowers can also be used to dye fabric, producing a yellow-orange color.

Orange Mullein is a member of the Verbascum genus, which includes over 360 species of flowering plants. Many of these species are commonly known as Mullein and have a long history of use in traditional medicine. In fact, Mullein has been used medicinally for thousands of years and was included in the pharmacopoeias of many cultures, including the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The genus Verbascum is native to Europe and Asia, but many species have been introduced to other parts of the world and have become naturalized. In addition to Orange Mullein, some of the most commonly cultivated species of Verbascum include White Mullein (Verbascum lychnitis), Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum), and Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).

Like Orange Mullein, many species of Mullein have been studied for their potential health benefits. Common Mullein, in particular, has been found to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects, making it useful for treating respiratory infections, pain, and inflammation.

In addition to their medicinal properties, Mullein plants are also known for their ornamental value. Many species produce tall, showy flower spikes in shades of yellow, white, or pink. The plants are often used in borders, rock gardens, and other landscaping projects to add height and interest.

Mullein plants are also important habitat plants for a variety of insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths. The flowers provide nectar and pollen, while the leaves provide shelter for many species of caterpillars. In fact, some species of moths are known to feed exclusively on Mullein leaves.

Overall, the Verbascum genus is a diverse and valuable group of plants with a wide range of uses and benefits. Whether grown for their medicinal properties, ornamental value, or ecological importance, Mullein plants are a valuable addition to any garden or landscape.

Facts about Orange Mullein

  • Orange Mullein (Verbascum phlomoides) is a hardy biennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia.
  • The plant produces tall spikes of bright orange flowers that bloom in the second year of growth.
  • Orange Mullein has a long history of use in traditional medicine for a variety of conditions, including respiratory infections, skin irritations, and digestive issues.
  • The plant's leaves and flowers can be used to make teas, tinctures, and poultices.
  • Orange Mullein is also used in natural dyeing, with its leaves and flowers producing a yellow-orange color.
  • The plant is easy to grow and care for, tolerating drought and poor soil conditions.

Orange Mullein is a valuable and hardy plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine and natural dyeing. Its bright orange flowers and ease of cultivation make it a popular choice for gardens and landscapes, while its medicinal properties make it a useful natural remedy for a variety of conditions. Overall, Orange Mullein is a versatile and valuable addition to any garden or herbal medicine cabinet.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map