Mullein is an introduced plant, though it’s been here as long as the first settlers and long enough for Native Americans to find herbal uses for it. Typically, it’s still referred to as a “weed” that inhabits “waste areas,” and that just sounds so derogatory and insulting to me. The flowers don’t all bloom at once, which probably limits its appeal somewhat. In today’s photo, I would say that more than an average number of the flowers are blooming at once on this plant. Sometimes I can only find 3-4 blooms on the stalk. The others are either not out yet or over with.
American goldfinch and indigo buntings don’t mind that the plant isn’t a native. They are happy to eat the seeds. Some insects are said to use the plants as a winter shelter, burrowing deep inside the brown stalks.
Around Roundtop, the blooms typically appear now, so it’s a late summer bloomer. And if you’re keeping track, a mullein in bloom is yet another sign that the summer season is past its midpoint.