Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Orange Mullein - Verbascum phlomoides   L.
Members of Scrophulariaceae:
Members of Verbascum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Scrophulariales » Family Scrophulariaceae
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DistributionMostly in the northern Mountains and western Sandhills, from which it is moving into the lower Piedmont; also Halifax County.

Native of Eurasia; in N.A. from P.E.I. to B.C. south to GA, AR, CO, OR.
AbundanceCommon in the western Sandhills proper; rare to uncommon in the northern Mountains; rare (as of June 2023) in the Piedmont and in the flat Coastal Plain. One population in Pinebluff (Moore Co.) held thousands of individuals in 2004. Since then, the species has undergone an explosion and now has reached southern Randolph County, central Hoke County, and southern Lee County. Uncountable plants occupy the Bird Dog Field Trial grounds at Sandhills Game Land in Richmond County, where they were absent prior to 2000.
HabitatDry sandy to loamy sand soils of roadsides, fields, fallow cropfields, pastures, vacant lots (Hamlet, Richmond Co.), along the New River (Ashe Co.).
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-August.
IdentificationKeys usually state that this species has unbranched inflorescences; however, short flowering shoots from upper leaf axils make it look like the inflorescence is branched. The central, terminal spike is longer and narrower than that of V. thapsus, with the flowers much less crowded. Overall, the plant has a shorter tomentum than that much more common species, and the leaves are a darker green than are the more glaucous/pale green leaves in that species. Both species are quite tall and elegant, often to 4-5 feet tall, with numerous large yellow flowers.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieSame data. RichmondPhoto_non_natural
B.A. SorrieSame data. RichmondPhoto_non_natural
B.A. SorrieRoadside, US 1, late May 2015. RichmondPhoto_non_natural
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