'Polar Summer', 'White Bride' or 'Silver Lining'€2.34
One look at this species of Verbascum and you will realise why it is also called ‘Arctic Summer’. Tall, white, fleecy flower stems emerge from felted evergreen leaves in early summer. Its stems and leaves are covered in a silvery down that gives it an appearance of being permanently covered with frost.
Verbascums are statuesque in both foliage and flower. This elegant species, native to the Olympus mountains is arguably the finest of the genus. Tall flower spikes rise from the centre of the foliage, each are weighted heavily with bright, golden-yellow blooms giving the effect of an enormous candelabra.
The poise of the lovely Verbascum phoeniceum 'Flush of White' makes this plant a natural candidate for the front of the border, even though its height might suggest, that it should go at the back. In summer winds, which snap off delphiniums and toss sunflowers awry, the Verbascum stands defiant.
English gardeners are very familiar with this plant and consider it essential for a well-structured garden. Verbascum phoeniceum 'Hybrids Mix' flower freely, giving a glorious plethora of colours from delicate salmon to rich claret. A true perennial which can flower the first year given an early sowing.
Verbascum phoeniceum is a stately plant, which combines architectural form with beautiful colouring. 'Rosetta' produces elegant spires of intense dark pink blooms which are always much admired. They bloom throughout the summer, with a few sporadic flowers late into the year.
Aaron's Rod, Wildflower of Britain and Ireland€1.80
Several Verbascum species are prized garden ornamentals, but the species best-known among wildflower enthusiasts and herbalists is the homely but useful common mullein, Verbascum thapsus. This fuzzy mullein is a gardener’s friend, an herbalist’s delight and an engineering marvel all on its own.