Definition of mullein in English:



  • A herbaceous plant of the figwort family with woolly leaves and tall spikes of yellow flowers, native to Eurasia but now widely and commonly distributed.

    • ‘Besides picking the more familiar lemon balm, coltsfoot and mullein, I found myself picking honeysuckle flowers for their antibacterial and antiviral properties.’
    • ‘To treat a cough, make a calming tea from equal parts of licorice root, anise seed, mullein leaves and wild cherry bark.’
    • ‘The yellow flower spikes of a dwarf mullein or verbascum and the delicate white and pink trumpets of a creeping convolvulus defied my attempts at precise identification but were delightful nevertheless.’
    • ‘I'm a great fan of verbascum or mulleins, to give them their common name, not least because they self-seed prolifically, leaving little room for weeds to flourish and filling the borders florifically.’
    • ‘Tall grasses and weeds - especially pokeweed, mullein and Queen Anne's lace that will produce fruits and copious seed heads - grow profusely.’
    • ‘We've got hawthorn, gingko, elder, mullein, lavender, sage, thyme, echinacea, borage, yarrow and plenty of pine trees.’
    • ‘For instance, dock and beggarticks often indicate wet soil, while thistles and mullein indicate a dry soil.’
    • ‘Ilexes and oleanders line the roadside; tall yellow mulleins and apricot hollyhocks spring up in the screes above.’
    • ‘Pastures seem to be in pretty good shape with fair grass growth; however, I have never seen so much common mullein.’
    • ‘To make the oil, cover a handful of dried mullein flowers with a carrier oil such as olive or almond oil.’


Late Middle English: from Old French moleine, of Celtic origin; compare with the Breton melen, Cornish and Welsh melyn yellow.