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Verbascum (Cotswold Group) 'Gainsborough' AGM

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Pale Yellow in Summer

Foliage

Green and Grey/Silver in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

mullein 'Gainsborough'

Family

Scrophulariaceae


Verbascum can be annuals, biennials, perennials or subshrubs mostly with hairy leaves and 5-petalled, saucer-shaped flowers

'Gainsborough' is a semi-evergreen, short-lived perennial to 1.2m, with grey-green, ovate leaves in a basal rosette, and erect spikes of primrose yellow flowers 2-3cm in width

Synonym(s)

  • Verbascum phoeniceum 'Gainsborough'

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing
  • Exposed

Cultivation

Grow in alkaline, poor, well-drained soil in full sun; drought-tolerant plant. In fertile soils, it grows large and needs support

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Alkaline
  • Loam or Chalk

Propagation

Propagate by root cuttings in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Drought Resistant, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Gravel Garden or Wildlife Gardens


How to care

Pruning

Remove faded flower spikes

Pests

May be attacked by caterpillars and figwort weevil

Diseases

May be subject to powdery mildews