Crow’s Nest Guilty Pleasures: Weeds we love

July 21, 2020

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

To be clear, we’re talking about the plant here, common mullein, Verbascum thapsus. It’s not native, it’s not usually planted, and like a weed it just shows up. But it doesn’t seem invasive in our region—there’s one here and one there but it’s not widespread. You might not want this biennial growing in a crack in your patio; it has a reputation of being able to crack concrete as it grows. Above, June 27 of this year, and below, July 20.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

We like the plant because of its soft leaves and bold form. I did raise a few eyebrows among my colleagues for leaving this one here, especially since it’s kind of in front of the parking directional sign.