This delightful wild herb, twiggy mullein or wand mullein (Verbascum virgatum Stokes), is a member of the Verbascum species and is similar in appearance to great mullein (Verbascum thapsus). It can be found growing in low grassland, woodland, rocky outcrops, warm temperate rainforest, alpine and subalpine regions in many parts of the world.
The image shown here was taken on my property in southeast Queensland, Australia. There are no known medicinal uses for the herb, however, moth mullein (Verbascum blattaria L.), which is similar to virgatum, can be used as an insect repellent.
There are around 300 species of mullein throughout the world. Some of them have been used in natural medicine for centuries and are among the oldest known medicinal plants. Although mulleins have traditionally been used to treat inflammation of the pelvic area, kidneys,and respiratory tract they've mostly been used for the treatment of respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma, and the pain associated with earache. External conditions such as ulcers and haemorrhoids were treated with poultices made from mullein leaves.
The only member of the Verbascum species I would use medicinally is Verbascum thapsus because it is well documented and its efficacy and safety have been proved empirically. It's a valuable medicinal herb and one I would never be without in my dispensary.
Proprietor, author, and tutor of The Home Herbalist Online Course.