Temptress Purple Mullein (Verbascum phoeniceum) is a variety native to southern Europe, northern Africa, and central Asia. The foliage is similar in appearance to our Purple-Throated Mullein without the hallmark leaf fuzziness that most people associate with mullein. Of course, this one is really all about the delicate and striking dark purple blossoms – Quin originally picked this strain during a trip to Scandinavia – and seems to most closely match “Violetta.” (Other strains of this species also bloom in white, pink, and yellow flowers). If early-spring planted, this one will bloom in the morning about eight weeks during late summer/early fall.
This was quite the find. Most mulleins are considered biennials but this is classified as a short-lived perennial. This species seems to primarily have its has a niche as an “ornamental,” but that word almost seems to undersell its value. There seemed to be a deep content to this plant’s presence on our farm and we look forward to having it as a permanent fixture.
Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California.