Broussa or giant mullein, Verbascum bombyciferum, is a statuesque biennial with silvery, hairy foliage and tall flower spikes bearing bright yellow flowers.
Verbascum bombyciferum 'Polarsommer' – sometimes known as 'Arctic Summer' – is so-called because it bears a particularly dense and long-lasting layer of hairs, that give it a frosted appearance. In its first year it produces a rosette of large leaves. In the second year, a tall, sometimes branched flower spike emerges, bearing short-lived but numerous yellow flowers. It’s a great plant for wildlife – carder bees (Anthidium) use the ‘fur’ on the leaves to build their nests, the flowers attract bees and hoverflies and the foliage serves as a caterpillar food plant.
Verbascum bombyciferum 'Polarsommer' is a good self-seeder, and is often found growing on disturbed soils where the long-lived seeds have been able to germinate. For best results grow Verbascum bombyciferum 'Polarsommer' in full sun in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. It’s best not to crowd it too much with other plants, as it’s easily overcrowded and outcompeted in these situations.
Verbascum ‘Polarsommer’ and wildlife
Verbascum ‘Polarsommer’ is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects and other pollinators. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.
Is Verbascum ‘Polarsommer’ poisonous?
Verbascum ‘Polarsommer’ has no toxic effects reported.