Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Asterids: Lamiids: Lamiales
Dig deeper at SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria.
Keys 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. Read more at Vascular Plants of North Carolina.
This species is spreading rapidly in the Fall-line Sandhills region of NC and becoming invasive, encroaching into natural habitats, per Weakley's Flora (2022)
SYNONYMOUS WITH Flora of North America north of Mexico, vol. 17 (2019)
SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 166-12-004:
Verbascum phlomoides FAMILY Scrophulariaceae
Clasping Mullein, Orange Mullein
To see larger pictures, click or hover over the thumbnails.
Bruce A. Sorrie bas_v_phlomoides1
Leaves densely tomentose; basal and lower stem leaves distinctly petiolate, per Weakley's Flora (2023).
Bruce A. Sorrie bas_v_phlomoides2
Middle to upper stem leaves sessile to auriculate-clasping, slightly or not at all decurrent, per Weakley's Flora (2023).
COMPARE Clasping Mullein, Moth Mullein, Wand Mullein, and Woolly Mullein
Bruce A. Sorrie bas_v_phlomoides3
Similar to V. thaspus, but often branched and the inflorescence interrupted, per Wildflowers of the Southern Mountains (Smith, 1998).
Will Stuart wil_vphlomoides_habit8092
July Richmond County NC
North Carolina Sandhills Gamelands
Apparently a newly emerging invasive - on the cusp of a range expansion near you?
Flora of North America north of Mexico, vol. 17
Habitat: Disturbed areas, roadsides, longleaf pine sandhills (if left unburned), per Weakley's Flora
Uncommon in NC Coastal Plain (rare elsewhere in Carolinas)
CLICK HERE to see a map, notes, and images from Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern US.
Click here to see a map showing all occurrences known to SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria. (Zoom in to see more detail.)
Basal rosette & alternate
Middle to upper stem leaves sessile to auriculate-clasping
Weakly bilaterally symmetrical
5-parted 2-lipped rotate corolla
5 fertile exserted stamens
Inflorescence a spike
TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!
- Wildflowers of the Eastern United States (Duncan & Duncan, 1999) p086
- Wildflowers of Tennessee (Carman, 2005) p248
- Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians (Horn, Cathcart, Hemmerly, & Duhl, 2005) p291
- Wildflowers of the Southern Mountains (Smith, 1998) p152
If a search such as "Carex leptalea var. leptalea" doesn't deliver the results you want, try "Carex leptalea".
Or, to minimize chances of a misspelling, try just "Carex le".
Less is more: If "pencil flower" doesn't deliver the results you want, try "pencil".