A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.

Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’ (silver mullein cultivar) is a biennial, meaning that blooming occurs in the second year after germinating from seed. In its first year, the plant forms a strikingly handsome “rosette” of silvery foliage and makes a lovely feature in the garden.verbascum-mid-range

‘Arctic Summer’ perfectly describes this plant: the powdery white coating of its stems and leaves really does look like a frosting of ice, and its flowers, a sunny yellow, are on display in midsummer.verbascum-close-up

The tall flower spikes are covered with masses of down-coated buds. These open in a succession of one-inch-wide blooms over several weeks in summer.verbascum-in-situ

Look for it in the Flower Garden, near the entrance to the Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory.

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