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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 178. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/22/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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1. Verbascum blattaria L. (moth mullein)

Pl. 560 a–c; Map 2606

Stems 40–150 cm long, erect, 4-angled, sometimes branched, moderately pubescent toward the tip with unbranched, glandular hairs, often glabrous or nearly so toward the base. Leaves dark green, those of the basal rosettes 4–20 cm long, sessile or with a very short, winged petiole, the blade oblanceolate, irregularly coarsely toothed and/or scalloped to pinnately lobed; stem leaves progressively shorter and more finely toothed or scalloped (sometimes entire or nearly so) toward the stem tip, sessile, mostly lanceolate, sometimes somewhat clasping the stems, but the bases not decurrent, grading into the inflorescence bracts; leaf blades with the upper surface moderately pubescent with unbranched, glandular-hairs, the undersurface glabrous. Inflorescences open racemes (rarely appearing paniculate in branched plants), the flowers solitary at the nodes, the flower stalks 8–15(–25) mm long, glandular-hairy. Calyces 5–8 mm long, the lobes narrowly elliptic-lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, glandular-hairy. Corollas 9–15 mm long, white or yellow, with a reddish purple ring at the lobe bases, glandular-hairy. Stamens unequal, the upper 3 with the filaments shorter, straight, bearded with purplish red and usually also white hairs; the lower 2 with the filaments longer, angled downward, bearded with purplish red hairs, the anthers orange, those of the lower pair fused to the filaments from the base to about the midpoint. Fruits 5–8 mm long, more or less globose, minutely glandular-hairy. 2n=18, 30, 32. May–September.

Introduced, scattered nearly throughout the state (native of Europe, Asia; introduced widely, in North America). Banks of streams and rivers; also old fields, pastures, fallow fields, ditches, railroads, roadsides, and open, disturbed areas.

Two forms of the species are widespread in Missouri. In many cases entire populations comprise only one form or the other, but mixed populations are known. Typical plants have yellow corollas, whereas white-flowered plants have been called f. albiflora (G. Don) House (f. erubescens Brug.). Aside from the different corolla colors, there appear to be no morphological characters to distinguish the two morphs. Although it is common for species with corollas ranging from pink to red, purple, or blue to include mutants with white flowers, it is very rare for species with yellow corollas to develop white-flowered mutations.



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