Verbascum blattaria L.

Moth Mullein

Sp. Pl. 178 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect biennial 0.5–1.2 m high, glabrous below, with stalked or sessile glands above. Leaves in the lower parts oblong to oblanceolate, lamina 8–25 cm long, 2–4 cm wide, base tapering into short petiole, margins crenate-sinuate to pinnatifid; stem leaves sessile, stem-clasping. Racemes simple or few-branched, 30–60 cm long; flowers solitary in bract axils; bracts 7–8 mm long; pedicels 10–15 mm long (to 25 mm in fruit). Sepals 5–8 mm long; corolla 2.5–3 cm diam., pale pink, white (or yellow) with purple centre, upper lobes shortest; stamens 5, lower pair longest, 7–9 mm long, filaments densely villous, hairs of the 2 lower stamens purple, of the 3 upper white and purple, anthers all reniform, but those of lower 2 stamens obliquely inserted and decurrent along filament. Capsule globose, 7–8 mm long, finely glandular-pubescent. Flowers spring and summer.

*CVU, *GipP, *HNF, *HSF, *NIS, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro. Also naturalised NSW, Tas. Native to Europe and Asia. Locally common weed of disturbed ground, roadsides, pasture etc. in the north-east (e.g. Wangaratta, Tallangatta, Corryong), rather uncommon elsewhere in the State.

Source: Barker, W.R.; Harden, G.J. (1999). Verbascum. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-19
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Lamiales
genus Verbascum
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Verbascum blattaria in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Verbascum blattaria in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory