Definitions for verbascum thapsus

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. common mullein, great mullein, Aaron's rod, flannel mullein, woolly mullein, torch, Verbascum thapsus(noun)

    tall-stalked very woolly mullein with densely packed yellow flowers; ancient Greeks and Romans dipped the stalks in tallow for funeral torches

Freebase

  1. Verbascum thapsus

    Verbascum thapsus is a species of mullein native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, and introduced in the Americas and Australia. It is a hairy biennial plant that can grow to 2 metres tall or more. Its small yellow flowers are densely grouped on a tall stem, which bolts from a large rosette of leaves. It grows in a wide variety of habitats, but prefers well-lit disturbed soils, where it can appear soon after the ground receives light, from long-lived seeds that persist in the soil seed bank. It is a common weedy plant that spreads by prolifically producing seeds, but rarely becomes aggressively invasive, since its seed require open ground to germinate. It is a very minor problem for most agricultural crops, since it is not a very competitive species, being intolerant of shade from other plants and unable to survive tilling. It also hosts many insects, some of which can be harmful to other plants. Although individuals are easy to remove by hand, populations are difficult to eliminate permanently. It is widely used for herbal remedies with emollient and astringent properties. It is known to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, expectorant, and analgesic properties. It is especially recommended for coughs and related problems, but also used in topical applications against a variety of skin problems. The plant was also used to make dyes and torches.

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