Asked on May 18, 2012

Does anyone know what this plant is? The leaves are fuzzy. 0_o



It's growing wild near my house in the woods. There are several of these plants and they're very unusual. Any ideas?
47 answers
  • Greedith B
    on May 19, 2012

    I have no idea but when you find out I want to know too. I know whatever it is, in years past they used to make medicine out of it.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on May 19, 2012

    Verbascum (Mullein)

  • Lisa D
    on May 19, 2012

    Lambs ears or Mullen...a weed but i have several i do not pull up, they grow to about 3-4 feet tall and have a lovely flower spike in a buttery yellow.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on May 19, 2012

    That is indeed the common mullein, or Verbascum thapsus. There are cultivated forms that make very nice additions to the garden. The plant usually referred to as lambs ears is actually a different plant with softer, grayer foliage: Stachys byzantina.

  • Kimberlee
    on May 19, 2012

    Thank you all!! You're the best! I am thrilled to know this is a possible cool addition to my yard. I'm revitalizing a forgotten home and yard and making gardens throughout. This plant would be a great conversation starter in my yard makeover!

  • Kimberlee
    on May 19, 2012

    Charlda W, I live in Georgia. West Georgia to be specific. Near the Alabama line. I also live near a quarry. And our property is mostly rocks and very dry.

  • Karen T
    on May 19, 2012

    I am pretty sure it is Muellin...does it grow long stalks with yellow flowers by late summer?

  • Mary T
    on May 19, 2012

    It is Mullien - sometimes known as Indian Tobacco. It has insignificant yellow blossoms on tall spikes.

  • Pat S
    on May 19, 2012

    Definitely Mullien will have a tall spike with yellow blossoms. Quaker ladies used to rub the leaves on their cheeks to make them pink as they weren't allowed to use makeup!

  • Karen T
    on May 20, 2012

    As an herbalist, I had my own business for about ten years...mainly providing herbal and natural remedies to Midwives, the Amish and Menonite people...Mullien leaves are excellent for removing mucous in congested can be used for a cleansing and soothing effect to the skin, flowers can be infused with olive oil...for earaches...this infusion can also be mixed with beeswax to create a great balm for babies bottoms...the root, though hard to harvest because of it's long very effective for unrinary tract problems...mixed with plantain leaves, is great for overall kidney health...even plantian tea alone is very good for kidney health...One important note:...if stalks are crooked, this is a very good indication that there are high levels of chemical contamination in the soil...only harvest from straight vigorous stalks...I used to tincture most of my herbs, as they last for many years in this form without loosing thier potency...although Mullien tincture is is very easily used and effective...

  • Jan M
    on May 20, 2012

    It looks like lams ear to me. It gets pretty purple flowers.

    , They are just about ready to bloom They spread like crazy and are a perennial
  • Terri J
    on May 21, 2012

    I am not sure what it is, but pretty sure not lambs ear. They are more blue green in color and have sort of like a velvety leaf.

  • Robin F
    on May 21, 2012

    I was going to guess skunk cabbage but I'm not sure.

  • Sandra R
    on May 21, 2012

    My Grandfather use to call this wooley grout. Years ago ( 75 ) they used the leaves on the plant for Piles. Ok , another conversation on butt holes! They would put the leaves in a metal pot pan, put boiling water over them and sit on the pot. Bare butted of course. It was to help relieve the piles. Never tried that one though.

  • Kimberlee
    on May 21, 2012

    Karen, that was very helpful! Thank you so much! I plan on doing more with this plant. Awesome information.

  • Becky S
    on May 22, 2012

    they are very pretty when full grown i have some in my yard !!! the tellow makes them pop

  • Susan S
    on May 23, 2012

    @Sandra R. - and I'll bet there are some that don't know what "Piles" are either!!! LOL. You tell 'em if they ask!!! I'm sure that method of treatment was some fun - but probably very effective too!!

  • Judith S
    on Jul 12, 2012

    to a mothers tongue

    on Jul 13, 2012

    Mullein ~

  • Katrina Wylie
    on Jul 18, 2012

    We always knew it as mullen although I know that is not the correct name(Mullien). Also I was told as a child that if you put a leaf in your shoes that it was good for arthritis.

  • Rose H
    on Jul 30, 2012

    My fiance picks it and dries the leaves then adds it to herbal tea mixtures. He has asthma and says that it makes a huge difference in how well he is able to breath.

  • B. Reynolds
    on Aug 13, 2012

    It is called mullen, they grow wild in alot of areas, the old folks used them for alot of medical remendys. The tame version of this is lambs ear. They are very pretty and multiply great. I have a whole border of these around the front of my house in lieu of monkey grass.

  • Susan S
    on Aug 13, 2012

    I thought Lamb's Ear was more of a green/gray color??

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 14, 2012

    They're not related. Mullein is Verbascum thapsus, and cultivated versions for gardens are sold as verbascum. They're in the family Scrophulariaceae. Lamb's ear, Stachys byzantina, is an entirely different plant in the family Lamiaceae.

  • MomMom
    on Aug 18, 2012

    I thought it was Lamb's Ear (or in the family) also.

  • Kimberlee
    on Aug 30, 2012

    For the record, I tried to transplant one and wasn't successful and then when I saw how big they get in the wild, I decided against it all together. I'll just stick to enjoying it on my walks through the woods! <<< I'm learning to take the time to smell the roses and count the leaves and listen to the streams. It makes life so much more enjoyable! ;)

  • Sharon B
    on Oct 22, 2012

    Did u ever find out what this was, it is pretty, mayb Douglas can tell u what it is on here.......

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Oct 22, 2012

    @Sharon B : This plant was correctly identified as a mullein.

  • Sharon B
    on Oct 22, 2012

    thanks, did not see that.......

  • I Play Outside The Box
    on Jan 9, 2013

    I have trouble being sure a rose, is a rose, when I see I'm clueless. Ü

    • Brad
      on Jun 28, 2018

      I used to see them back in North Carolina. We also have them here in Oklahoma. They seem to just grow wild in the fields. Some are very tall.
  • Kimberlee
    on Jan 9, 2013

    Douglas is correct. Thank you to everyone that has helped in this id process.

  • Elaine Frerichs
    on Feb 3, 2013

    This is one of my favorite plants. You can transplant these if they are small. They willlook like they are dying but will come back. Water good after moving and leave them alone. I have been enjoying these beauties for decades. It will produce a tall spike loaded with small yellow flower/seeds.I break this off after it has been there several weeks,it will slowly die. If you are lucky you will see small plants(a few) next year.Enjoy,a natural beauty!

  • Becky (J) P
    on Feb 7, 2013

    fun fact: Mullien is an over the counter supplement meant to soothe coughs.

  • Sherry Goolsby
    on Feb 7, 2013

    another fun fact: Mullien was used to stop wound bleeding during the Civil War. The leaves used to be very broad and thick,perfect for that use. They would also soak them in cool water and put on foreheads for fever. If you want to transplant,try to get as much dirt around them as you can,w/o disturbing the roots. They'll transplant much better.

  • Amanda
    on Mar 25, 2013

    It's a Mullen...common name..Indian Tobacco Plant. They will shoot up a stalk with yellow blooms and here considered weeds.

  • Wanda Y
    on Mar 27, 2013

    In Manitoba we call them lambs ears, they are super soft with white looks like soft hair on them. I have them in my perenial garden and have transplanted them into about 8 plants they grow so nice and big. I love them and easy to take care of.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 27, 2013

    Lambs ears is a different plant, Wanda. It's Stachys byzantina. But you're right, it is a great garden plant.

  • Genna Scartaccini
    on Feb 19, 2015

    this is certainly mullien or by another name wild indian tabacco. not easy to transplant, but will spread prolifically by seed - can be invasive.

  • Katrina Wylie
    on Feb 22, 2015

    When I was a little girl, my answer told me that she was always told that you could put the leaves inside your shoes, like an insole, and it was a folk remedy for arthritis. I never tried it but I think of my aunt every time I see a Mullein. (or Mullen here, where we live in the South) They grow by the side of the road around here.

    on Jul 12, 2015

    My grandfather used to make a plaster of steeped Mulen leaves and put it on the childen when they had colds, etc.

  • Sara Glenn
    on Aug 19, 2015

    I read that these used to be used as bandages and feminine pads in the old days.

  • Juliadance
    on May 8, 2016

    I think this might be what we call a Mullein. It grows every two years, puts up a tall 2-4ft spike of buds that open into little yellow or cream flowers. It self seeds very easily and is great for height in the flowered. They like well drained soil and lots of sun. Once it flowers it usually dies but is still an interesting plant.

  • Shelley graves
    on Jun 15, 2016

    Also known as Bunny ear.

  • Karen Quinn
    on Aug 16, 2016

    It is Mullein and it is a wonderful healing herb. Can be used to heal bones and sprains when used with comfrey. respiratory disorders where it was used to treat asthma, coughs, tuberculosis, and related respiratory problems. Mullien ear oil is very common for childhood ear issues. I have used Mullein Oil (made from the flowers of Mulein) for ear aches and when I had water in my ear. It is a wonderful herb for healing spiritually also.

    • Carol Jean Rahfaldt
      on Nov 2, 2016

      It looks like a plant that grew in my little box planter this summer. The box planter is setting on the ground. Will it come back next year? Will the winter kill it?

  • Chris
    on Aug 18, 2016

    Mullein it is!

  • Dmotan
    on Nov 2, 2016

    Yes, it is mullein. I love it. You can see it along the roadside in many states. First year is just leaves and second year is bloom.

  • Billie
    on Nov 20, 2016

    It is an herb named mullein which has many medicinal uses especially for the lungs.

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