Scrophulariaceae (family name)
Forage for Pollinators: Produces Pollen in profusion for Honeybees, Bumblebees and is particularly popular with Solitary bees (when many other sources are over). The wool-carder bee (Anthidium manicatum) uses these plant hairs from the leaves and stems to line its nest, and females can be observed collecting their little balls of wool before returning to their nest. Pollinated by bees.
Flowering time: June, July, August.
Growing information: NATIVE BIENNIAL WILDFLOWER growing to 1.8 m (6ft). Prefers free-draining soil, but otherwise not fussy. It will send its flower-spike towering upwards before flowering. It is attractive as a larval food for the Mullein Moth. Self sows readily.
Traditionally a commonly used herbal remedy, valued for treating bronchitis, combining well with other expectorants such as Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara). The leaves and the flowers are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant and more.
Verbascum nigrum is a closely related and similar species, with multiple flowering spikes, each yellow flower bearing red pollen on the stamens, and which prefers free-draining calcareous soils.
(sow late spring to early summer, takes 2 or 3 weeks to germinate)