Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Mullein
Bįįhyiljáa’í

several tall green mullein plants growing on a slope among dried out vegetation

Mullein is a tall, unmistakeable plant. The leaves are mostly basal, and can reach very large size. They are woolly. The inflorescence is a long crowded spike of yellow flowers. The stamen filaments are very hairy, and the top of the style is flattened. Mullein is a lower- to middle-elevation plant that grows on dry soil and on roadsides. The branching of the multicellular leaf cilia is quite interesting. The flowers mature into two-chambered, stellate-pubescent capsules partially enclosed by leafy bracts. The capsules initially are green, and then turn brown. After the capsules turn brown, they split open from the pointed apex toward the base revealing hundreds of minute, rugose brown seeds.

*Based on description at Western New Mexico University's Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness.

Arrangement of the small yellow flowers on the inflorescence
Tip of inflorescence with open, yellow flower and visible pollen
Close-up of leaf, which shows the pattern of cilia that result in the fuzzy texture of the leaf
Immature seed capsule, which is fuzzy like much of the rest of the plant
Fuzzy, light green basal leaves of a young plant
Arrangement of the small yellow flowers on the inflorescence

Copyright 2018 New Mexico State University. Individual photographers retain all rights to their images. Partially funded by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (westernsare.org; 435.797.2257), project EW15-023. Programs and projects supported by Western SARE are equally open to all people. NMSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action educator and employer.