Verbascum nigrum | ‘Black Mullein’, ‘Dark Mullein’ | ~500+ seeds
Verbascum nigrum is a bewitching biennial herbaceous species native to mainland Europe, the Mediterranean and the UK. Most commonly known as either the ‘Black Mullein’ or ‘Dark Mullein’, the plant is part of the well-known genus Verbascum, also known as the ‘mullein’ complex. Reaching fifty to one hundred and fifty centimetres tall in the wild, mature Verbascum nigrum form hairy leaves and fantastic yellow flowers with striking purple-haired stamens.
Nigrum grows naturally in USDA Climate Zones 3-8, where it prefers well-drained calcareous roadsides, hedges, verges and other (slightly-disturbed) grassy places. Generating a wealth of resources for wildlife, the plant’s generously-produced seeds offer a prime source of food to animals for (example, birds), its flowers provide a valued source of pollen and nectar for a wide range of insects (notably bees) and its dead foliage provides a place for invertebrates to overwinter too!
Verbascum nigrum is quite easy to grow from seed in most soils (mildly-acidic to mildly-alkaline), provided it is planted in full sun and watered regularly in average amounts. As with plants such as those of the Phalaris genus, the species may also be propagated via rootball division. Plants should be spaced a minimum of approximately fifty centimetres apart to allow ample room for them to reach mature size, and will flower between June to November, weather-dependent. The Verbascum nigrum seed which we currently offer was organically-farmed in Norfolk, England, so will produce plants ideally-suited to the British and wider European climate.
Although its name may be ‘Dark’, Verbascum nigrum really does make for a truly lovely addition to any discerning wildflower garden! Go ahead, why not brighten up your own plot and plant this wonderful species alongside a few of our other gorgeous flowers too?
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018