The New Student's Reference Work/Mullein
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Mullein (mŭl'lĭn), the name of a species of the genus Verbascum, which belongs to the figwort family. The genus contains about 125 species, all of them natives of the eastern hemisphere. About five species have become naturalized in North America, the most conspicuous of which is the common mullein (V. thapsus), an erect, stout, simple plant, which is densely woolly all over and is exceedingly common in fields and waste places. It is a native of Europe and Asia, and is said to have received in England no less than 40 common names. The next best-known naturalized species is the moth mullein (V. blattaria), with a slender, merely pubescent stem, and a loose cluster of yellow or white flowers with brown marks.