Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Monumental mulleins, Verbascum thapsus, are climbing tall and breaking into bloom. I first learned of this plant as a child in Germany where it is called "konigskerze." It is not hard to imagine dipping the dried flower stalks into tallow and using them as torches or "candles." This plant immigrated to America with the Europeans and had already become a common weed by the early nineteenth century when this watercolor of Monticello's west lawn was painted.

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