Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Verbascum Bombyciferum

Self sown Verbascum bombyciferum in my front border
     In my last post I commented on the importance of yellow to give a garden composition some punch.  Verbascum bombyciferum is certainly a plant which can add drama to a garden, not only because its flowers are in the all important lemon shade of yellow, but because its foliage is such a lovely furry gray and its form is so striking.  Indeed, even if it never bloomed it would be a good addition to the garden because of the pettable gray rosette it presents.
     A few years ago I planted 3 plants of this verbascum in about the spot you see above in the picture.  They have since self sowed prolifically, and some of their offspring, from several generations, are what you see.  In the first couple of years the seedlings pretty much stayed in the same location that the mother plants were, but this year I have noticed that they are getting around the border in a gratifying manner.  I would like for them to be scattered more evenly throughout the border.
     For those who are unfamiliar with this plant, it is a biennial, meaning that the rosette forms the first year of its life, blooms the second year, and then dies, leaving its progeny to live on.  Like all verbascums, this one is deer resistant and drought tolerant.  Indeed, it will not do well in a very moist situation.  Also, like most gray leaved plants, it requires full sun.
     Other plants you can see in the picture above are Stipa gigantea (in the background), Lychnis coronaria (a weed!), and Callistemon 'Woodlander's Red'.  I will have a future post on Callistemon, of which I have grown many with mixed succes.


  1. Love those...wish I had room...sigh!

  2. I' m really thrilled with my Verbascums this year ..maybe I need more !