Milkweed is for Monarchs and Mullein is a Soil Indicator!

Verbascum thapsus
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Common Mullein

What a Beautiful day today…travelin’ through Virginia!  So Beautiful, in fact, that I started to feel anxious! Were we ever going to stop and get out to take a closer look at all the beautiful wildflowers we were passing by.

And, passing by…is just that! I was jonesin for a closer look!  Two plants especially caught my attention.
Mullein and Milkweed.

Mullein has a fabulous stalk rushing out the top…with glorious yellow blooms! 

I’ve heard and read that mullein has many medicinal uses such as for cough, respiratory ailments.  A friend of mine even dries the leaves and smokes it to ease lung irritations!  I guess the smoke eases his symptoms.

Look at this grand mullein plant!


The mullein stalk, when in bloom, bears beautiful, small yellow flowers. These flowers, when infused in oil, make a good remedy for ear infections. A traditional remedy.


Not for use with injured ears or perforated eardrums.
Seek medical help when needed.

Here is an interesting blend of 5 leaves that can be mixed as an alternative to tobacco. Some leaves are recommended dry whereas some with some moisture still so please be sure to check it out. It is a wonderful guide written by Amy Jeanroy who I also quote further on.

Here are the 5 herbs recommended as a substitute blend for tobacco and perhaps helpful for non tobacco users as well.

-Raspberry Leaves
-Lemon Balm

And for those of you looking for medicinal uses here is some good info.

Here is a website that has mullein uses:

I can’t resist in showing you some of the photos I captured of sensuously lusty Mullein I found today in Virginia!

Basal leaves of Mullein




Here are some old dried remaining stalks of mullein.


So it is the lovely Mullein that encouraged me to poke around today.  There is so much to learn and I am a passionate enthusiast of foraging.

Here is a VERY USEFUL piece of information that I have learned from Amy Jeanroy on the above posted site (please click on link above)

I use this information and use mullein as an indicator of contamination in soil not just for mullein itself but other nearby plants. *******

****”mullein is a wonderful indicator of a soil’s contamination level. When looking for wild mullein, only harvest from straight, vigorous stalks. The crooked stalks indicate a high level of chemical contamination in the soil.”****

Mullein near the atlantic ocean, in the dunes and sand.

Here also is a wonderful site for those who are also interested in a spiritual and/or holistic view of plants. Mullein in particular. It definitely did act like a torch for me. Leading me toward it and around it. Comforting me by its familiarity and intriguing me by its extensive amount of uses. This is an inspiring, historical account and very useful site in understanding Mullein’s many useful preparations.

And here is a species of Mullein I noticed in New Hampshire.

I had never seen one with so many flower stalks!


(above image from wikimedia commons)

Nearby the healthy, useful and beautiful mullein that I saw was the glorious common milkweed!

The nearby Milkweed was showing its beautiful blooms!


I was lucky enough to take some beautiful pictures of milkweed and their immature blooms and foliage today! There are many types of milkweed but, I believe, this is Asclepias syriaca.

I am concerned about butterfly habitat. I used to write about foraging the common milkweed but, encourage planting and preserving the habitat of the Monarch Butterfly instead of foraging. Milkweed is habitat for the Monarch butterfly. AND, the Monarch butterfly is in serious danger. 

So, preserving and protecting and extending their habitat and the habitat of the milkweed is my goal of emphasis for this post now.

Plant milkweed, be a part of the Monarch butterfly’s habitat and the milkweed’s. It’s that easy and fun, too.




Signing off for now….wildlettucegal


About wildlettucegal

certified plant lover 😀

Posted on June 25, 2013, in photography, wild edibles and the art life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love mullein! It’s such a beautiful and tough plant. I don’t know how you ladies do it. One time from AZ to PA and back was enough for me for always!!!!!

    • I am so glad you like this post! Mullein was literally calling me to it all day! Then i got the chance to see it up close! I want to learn more about it. I know what you mean about long distance drives! Luckily we have a lot of interests and learning about wild plants has really helped keep my interest going! Thankyou for your comment! 🙂

    • Hello Rael, Thankyou so much for your comment! It is great to connect with other people who love mullein! It really did pull me toward it today so that was fun. I’ve admired the plant before and read bits about its healing uses but, don’t recall seeing the yellow blooms. So, another feature about mullein i learned today. I know what you mean about long distance drives. Luckily we have a lot of interests and blogging has been a great way to keep my energy up. Thanks again for your comment and interest in the post! 🙂

  2. I could just eat out of Terri’s hand there. Yah, my friend used to make me mullein tea to help with breathing. Beautiful site, Donna. Thanks.

  1. Pingback: So…What’s it like to Harvest Milkweed? | wildlettucegal's Blog

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