11 Plants That Look Like Mullein

Purple Heart Plant

Explore a captivating array of plants that share visual similarities with the renowned mullein. In this article, we delve into the distinct characteristics of these unique plant species, each with its special allure.

From the elegant Tall Phlox to the aromatic Wild Bergamot and the charming Madwort, uncover the fascinating world of plants resembling mullein and their distinctive qualities.

Common Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Common Evening Primrose, scientifically known as Oenothera biennis, is a biennial plant renowned for its striking golden-yellow flowers that bloom in the late afternoon and evening. Native to North America, it has found its way into gardens worldwide due to its captivating blooms and therapeutic qualities.

The plant is characterized by its tall, slender stalks and lance-shaped leaves that form a basal rosette in the first year before sending up flowering stems in the second year. What sets Common Evening Primrose apart is its unique blooming schedule, opening its fragrant blossoms during the twilight hours, attracting nocturnal pollinators such as moths and night-flying bees.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, this plant has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties, particularly in herbal medicine, where its seeds are a source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

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Common Evening Primrose (1)

Teasel (Dipsacus spp.)

Teasel, belonging to the Dipsacus genus, comprises several species known for their distinctive prickly flower heads and tall, upright stems. These plants are often found in meadows and along roadsides, adding an intriguing architectural element to natural landscapes.

Teasel’s most distinguishing feature is its spiny, cone-shaped inflorescence, which consists of countless tiny, tubular flowers densely packed together in a cylindrical arrangement. While Teasel’s showy flower heads are appealing, what truly sets it apart is its historical utility.

The hooked bracts of Teasel have been employed for centuries in the textile industry to raise the nap on woolen cloth, a process known as “teaseling.” This unique function made Teasel an integral part of cloth manufacturing during the Middle Ages. Beyond its industrial significance, Teasel is also valued by wildlife enthusiasts for its capacity to attract a variety of bird species, making it a valuable addition to natural habitats.


Mullein Foxglove (Dasistoma macrophylla)

Mullein Foxglove, scientifically known as Dasistoma macrophylla, is a captivating herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. What distinguishes this plant is its striking resemblance to the common mullein (Verbascum thapsus).

The leaves of Mullein Foxglove are broad, oval-shaped, and covered in fine, soft hairs, similar to those of the mullein. Its tall spikes of tubular, pale yellow to cream-colored flowers further enhance the visual deception, as they closely mimic the mullein’s floral structure.

Mullein Foxglove

Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina)

Lamb’s Ear, scientifically classified as Stachys byzantina, is a charming perennial plant cherished for its velvety, silver-gray leaves that indeed resemble the texture of a lamb’s ear. The leaves are densely covered in fine, soft hairs, giving them a plush appearance and a tactile allure.

This unique foliage serves both ornamental and practical purposes, as it not only adds a touch of whimsical charm to gardens but also offers a tactile experience when touched. Lamb’s Ear also produces small, tubular, pink to purple flowers on tall spikes in the summer, contrasting beautifully with its silvery foliage. These features collectively make Lamb’s Ear an attractive and distinctive addition to garden landscapes.

Lamb's Ear

Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum)

Prairie Dock, scientifically referred to as Silphium terebinthinaceum, is a tall and stately perennial plant native to the American prairies. It stands out for its robust, straight stems that can reach heights of up to nine feet, crowned by large, sunflower-like yellow blooms.

What distinguishes Prairie Dock is its resilience and adaptability to a wide range of environmental conditions, making it a vital component of prairie ecosystems. The plant’s deep taproot, in particular, enables it to withstand drought conditions, making it an important species for soil stabilization and erosion control. Moreover, Prairie Dock’s nectar-rich flowers attract various pollinators, including butterflies and native bees, contributing to the biodiversity of prairie landscapes.

Prairie Dock

Wild Lettuce (Lactuca spp.)

Wild Lettuce, encompassing several species within the Lactuca genus, is a group of wild plants that closely resemble cultivated lettuce varieties. What sets Wild Lettuce apart is its characteristic bitter taste, which has led to its historical use in herbal medicine and folk remedies. The plant’s serrated leaves, arranged in a rosette, have a lettuce-like appearance but are typically more deeply lobed.

One of the notable features of Wild Lettuce is its milky latex sap, which can be harvested and has been employed for its potential sedative and analgesic properties. Although not commonly consumed as a salad green due to its bitterness, Wild Lettuce holds a unique place in the realm of herbal medicine and has been utilized to address various ailments, including insomnia and pain management.

Wild Lettuce

Tall Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

Tall Verbena, scientifically known as Verbena bonariensis, is an elegant and statuesque perennial plant admired for its slender, upright stems and clusters of small, vibrant purple flowers. What makes Tall Verbena remarkable is its remarkable ability to add vertical interest to gardens and landscapes, creating a striking visual impact.

Its airy, open structure allows it to blend seamlessly with other plants and provides a nectar-rich food source for pollinators, such as butterflies and bees. Tall Verbena’s lengthy flowering period, from mid-summer to fall, ensures a sustained source of nectar for these beneficial insects, making it a valuable addition to pollinator-friendly gardens and wildlife habitats.

Tall Verbena

Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp.)

Joe-Pye Weed, belonging to the Eutrochium genus, comprises several species of native wildflowers known for their tall, graceful stature and clusters of pink to purplish flowers. These plants are native to North America and are typically found in moist meadows and along stream banks. Joe-Pye Weed stands out for its impressive height, with some varieties reaching heights of up to seven feet or more.

What sets Joe-Pye Weed apart is its role as a magnet for pollinators, particularly butterflies and bees. The plant’s copious nectar production and appealing flower clusters make it an essential addition to butterfly gardens and wildlife habitats. Additionally, Joe-Pye Weed has a history of traditional medicinal use, with some Native American tribes employing it for its potential healing properties.

Joe-Pye Weed

Tall Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Tall Phlox, scientifically referred to as Phlox paniculata, is a beloved perennial plant known for its striking and fragrant flower clusters. This native North American species is celebrated for its tall, upright stems and vibrant, five-petaled flowers that come in a spectrum of colors, including shades of pink, purple, and white.

What distinguishes Tall Phlox is its impressive adaptability to a wide range of garden settings, from sunny borders to woodland gardens. The plant’s prolific blooming during the summer months and its fragrance make it a favorite among garden enthusiasts. Tall Phlox also attracts pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds, enhancing its ecological significance in providing nectar and fostering biodiversity.

Tall Phlox

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Wild Bergamot, scientifically known as Monarda fistulosa, is a native North American wildflower cherished for its aromatic foliage and unique, tubular flowers. This perennial herb is distinguished by its square stems and lance-shaped leaves, which exude a pleasant fragrance when crushed. The flowers of Wild Bergamot, typically lavender to pink in color, are clustered atop the stems, creating a captivating display in meadows and gardens.

What sets Wild Bergamot apart is its historical use by Native American tribes, who recognized its medicinal properties, including its use as a soothing herbal tea. Moreover, Wild Bergamot serves as a valuable resource for pollinators, attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making it a valuable addition to wildlife-friendly landscapes.

Wild Bergamot

Madwort (Alyssum spp.)

Madwort, encompassing various species within the Alyssum genus, is a group of low-growing, herbaceous plants admired for their delicate, four-petaled flowers. These plants are typically found in rocky or sandy habitats, often in alpine or Mediterranean regions. What distinguishes Madwort is its diminutive size and charming blossoms, which range in color from white to shades of pink and purple.

Madwort’s low, spreading growth habit and profuse flowering make it a popular choice for ground covers and rock gardens. Additionally, some species within the Alyssum genus have a pleasant fragrance that adds to their appeal. These hardy plants can tolerate challenging growing conditions, including poor soil, making them resilient and reliable choices for gardeners seeking low-maintenance options.


About Christopher Evans

Hello, I'm Chris, the green-thumbed Founder of PotGardener.com. I'm passionate about bringing the beauty of nature indoors through houseplants and indoor gardening. Let's create healthier and more beautiful living spaces, one plant at a time!

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