Verbascum Banana Custard and Other Mullien

Verbascum banana custaard

This nine foot high perennial plant has a striking spire of yellow flowers. This variety has several smaller spikes in this case an impressive fourteen at the last count and still growing. This is a Verbascum hybrida and I also have a white which is less robust but still stately.

  • The leaves are hairy and can cause skin irritation
  • In the wild ‘Mulliens’ produce prodigious volumes of seed as do the hybrids. I treat good specimens as biennial although they are perennial as they are easy to grow from seed.
  • Flowers do not open evenly up the flowering spike but have colour for many weeks in summer. If dead headed there will often be a second flush later.
  • Mulliens like sun and space but are not fussy about soil conditions
  • Try grow a variety with multiple stems. Some have only one spike.

Design Tips

  • Other varieties flower earlier and in a more compact mannerĀ  with flowers of red, pinks and creams.
  • Try the cream V. Gainsborough which has the AGM or the purpleĀ  V. phoenicieum Violleta
  • The grey to silvery leaves create a pleasant colour contrast for smaller plants
  • The height is useful in the middle of borders with stronger subject being visible seen through the spikes.
  • Despite the size and ease with which they grow they are still startling specimens that are a bit unusual

Verbascum letitia

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