• WordNet 3.6
    • n Verbascum genus of coarse herbs and subshrubs mostly with woolly leaves
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n verbascum A genus of plants, type of the tribe Verbasceæ in the order Scrophularineæ. It is distinguished from the other genera of its tribe by its live perfect stamens. About 140 species have been described, many of them hybrids or varieties: only 100, or a few more, are now admitted. They are natives of Europe, North Africa, and western and central Asia. They are herbs, usually biennial, more or less clad in floc-cose wool, commonly tall and erect, rarely low and branching or spiny. The soft alternate leaves vary from entire to pinnatifid. The flowers are yellow, purplish, red, or rarely white, solitary or clustered in the axils of bracts, and disposed in terminal spikes or racemes, less often in panicles. The fruit is a two-valved capsule, globular, egg-shaped, or flattened. The stem-leaves are sessile and often decurrent, the radical leaves (frequently very large), coarse and conspicuous. The leaves of V. Thapsus, the common mullen, are mucilaginous and somewhat bitter, are used as emollient applications to tumors, and are the source of several popular remedies. (See mullen, with cut.) Four species are naturalized in the United States; 6 are natives of Great Britain, and about 50 others of continental Europe. V. Lychnitis and V. pulverulentum, the white millions of England and other parts of Europe, produce stiff branching panicles of yellow flowers with white-bearded filaments; they are covered with a white powdery down which readily rubs off. About a dozen yellow-flowered species are thought worthy of cultivation for ornament, among which V. Chaixi is remarkable for its tall stem, 10 feet high, with large green leaves, and enormous branching panicles of yellow flowers with purplish filaments. V. phœniceum, from southern Europe, is peculiar in its large spike of showy violet flowers.
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In literature:

With Supplementary Remarks on Naturally Produced Hybrids in the Genus Verbascum.
"The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II (of II)" by Charles Darwin
See in the "Origin" the brief abstract of Gartner on Verbascum and Zea.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin" by Charles Darwin
Secondly: Have you any white and yellow varieties of Verbascum which you could give me, or propagate for me, or LEND me for a year?
"More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II" by Charles Darwin
My notes are explicit on the subject of some of them, taken on Verbascum sinuatum.
"More Hunting Wasps" by J. Henri Fabre
The fields have Crucifera Lamium and Verbascum, a late biennial species, Caule simplici, Hemiphragma.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
With supplementary remarks on naturally-produced hybrids in the genus Verbascum.
"Life of Charles Darwin" by G. T. (George Thomas) Bettany
Verbascum, made by him in the Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh.
"The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2)" by Charles Darwin