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woolly plant id? - Definitely woolly mullein  RSS feed

 
r ranson
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Is it mullein?

pretty please let it be mullein.

Big, hairy, rosette, has flower stalk coming.  I'm still waiting for all my mullein seeds I ordered in the spring to arrive, but if this wild plant is mullein, then I'm keen to start harvesting.  I just want to be extra certain as I've never seen mullein in real life before.
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looks a bit like mullein does in photos
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put hand here so you can see the size
 
Hannah Sommers
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Looks like Mullein to me!
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Yay! You have mullein!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Gregg Carter
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Definatly woolly mullien. Also called lamb's ear around here. Can be used to help with asthma.
 
David Livingston
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Looks like it to me also can you get a refund on the seeds

David
 
r ranson
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1. how do I harvest it for tea to help my breathing?  Off to see if we have a thread for that.

2. will it produce seeds if it doesn't have a friend nearby?  (aka, is it self-pollinating?)  If so, any tips on saving seeds?
 
r ranson
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a video about it.

 
r ranson
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Before I harvest, is there any other plant it could be?
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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1. I take a knife and cut thru the leaf stems.Tada! Harvested. But you don't need the knife, really. It's easy to tear through the leaf stems. When making tea, I tear the leaves into about 3 inch squares, then place them in boiling water, just removed from heat to steep for 10-20 mins.

2. My first transplant sitting all by itself set seed. But maybe someone nearby had mullein too. Once the seed stalk dries out, snip off approriate length to fit in a bag, or pillow case. Close it up and do a shake and bake dance. Done. You now have millions of seeds.
 
Alexandra Clark
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That is definitely mullien. So good for ear aches--save the yellow flowers and stuff them in some good olive oil. Store in a dark place, shake the jar every so often for 6 weeks. Strain...and store in a dark dropper bottle. When an ear ache comes on, warm the bottle in some water and then drop a few drops in the ear and lay on opposite side--sweet relief!

Mullien extract is also awesome to break up mucous for the sinus, bronchitis and even pneumonia. I know a gal who treated a bad case of walking pneumonia only with mullien extract (tincture) and when she started she was bringing up what she called pudding....cleared it right up. I always have tincture on hand! In fact, my bottle is low-I had a plant last year, but alas it is only a biennial, so seed saving is a must.

Good luck!
 
Hans Quistorff
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Added bonus is that it supplies the nest material for weaver bees. Like Mason bees use mud and leaf cutter bess use bits of leaf the weaver bees use the fibers from the mullein leaves to separate the pollen/nectar bals that they lay an eg on and then cap the nest hole with it. The dried flower stalks can be cut in 6 inch lengths and used by some solitary nesting bees.
I know the weaver bees are working my farm because I find there nests but I have never seen them at work. They must be much more discreet than mason bees which seem to bumble more than bumblebees.

I think I posted pictures of making mullen tea in the middle of the winter when most other leaves were frozen. Some seed sprouts in the fall here and the small rosette overwinters then goes to seed.
 
r ranson
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If there was any doubt left, it's gone now.  We have yellow flowers!

I harvested a few flowers to make some ear oil, but left most of them on the plant in hopes of getting seeds. 

Now, if only I could get the mullien seeds I bought to germinate... sigh.  Thank goodness for volunteer plants. 
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Bryant RedHawk
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Once the flowers have faded, just cover loosely with a cloth bag, that cloth will grab hold of the seeds as they mature and fall out.
I just wait till the stalk falls over then cut outside of the seed collection bag turn and shake before removing the flower head. 
I have a little grove of mullien  volunteers and have had ever since we bought our farm.

Yes they are self pollenating, if you have more than on flowering at the same time, you will get more viable seeds because the bees seem to love that nectar.

since ours grow in one of the chicken areas, I don't mess with them until I need them and they reseed every year without fail.

Redhawk
 
Hans Quistorff
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Observation: Plants that have a tall flower spike like these have a strategy and timing of seed dispersal that wind and weather will stratify the seeds at the right time for propagation. If the fine seed shows when tapping the spike over the palm of your hand then it is time to disturb the soil and scatter the seed.
Suggestion: These tall flower spikes can be saved and cut into 6 inch long sections for nesting tubes for solitary bees. Others I use are hollyhocks, evening primrose and foxglove.
 
Matt Stahl
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I believe mullen is a biannual and only flowers on the second year. Lambs quarters has fine lobes at the margins looking ulmost scalloped. You can also smoke mullin leaves but I wouldn't suggest anyone smokes anything they don't know about or all of what it could be. It is light in flavor and suppose to help with cleaning out the lungs and one puff is suppose to relieve asthma symptoms. I believe there is a narcotic type drug associated with in  the plant as well. The leaves can make a green dye, the flowers yellow, and the whole plant brown. I bet the stock might make good cordage.
 
Hans Quistorff
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I bet the stock might make good cordage.

I doubt that the surface layer is thin and highly segmented at each leaf and flower. Inside the hard layer is a central pith that makes up most of the bulk of the flower spike. The fibers on the leaves are used by the weaver bees to make a felt around there pollen pellet that they lay an egg on. I find their nests but so far I have not observed them building the nest.So perhaps one could dry the leaves then ret off the fibers and make a felt. I tried drying the leaves for toilet paper but when I came back to them moth larvae had eaten them.
I did make a soothing "tea" with the winter leaves which I posted on another thread on the topic.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Matt stated "I believe mullen is a biannual and only flowers on the second year".
On Buzzard's Roost Mullen grows and flowers every year not biannually, we have 1/8th acre we let grow Mullen, currently we have 20 plants that came up this year and are flowering now.

Redhawk
 
Bernie Farmer
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r ranson wrote:1. how do I harvest it for tea to help my breathing?  Off to see if we have a thread for that.

2. will it produce seeds if it doesn't have a friend nearby?  (aka, is it self-pollinating?)  If so, any tips on saving seeds?


Someone else already answered how to harvest but I will add that when making a tea from either the leaves or the flowers (both of which can be used fresh or dried) you should strain the tea through a coffee filter before drinking. The plant is covered in tiny hairs that can lodge in your throat and cause irritation.

Also, tea made from the leaves is a sedative to some people. It puts me to sleep hard.

One more thing, the seeds are toxic so don't eat them. They were used by native americans to stun fish.
 
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