Last year I noticed 2 or 3 of these plants popping up in my garden. Since they didn't look like any weed that I know I left them to their own device thinking they could be some form of ornamental flower that had reseeded.

They didn't flower last year but I thought they might be bi-annuals because of their rosette of leaves.

This year in spring I've noticed that there are about 8-9 of them all over the garden. We're still in spring here (it's been a late, cold and wet spring) in zone 4b/5a in Canada. Their proliferation has me worried.

They seem to be evergreen or very fast growers because they were among the first plants to be seen after the snow melted. As you can see in the second picture, there are some bulbs showing and some pansies that somehow survived the winter but otherwise everything else is still in dormancy.

Anyone know what they might be?

enter image description here enter image description here


3 Answers 3


I think that you have Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria, although may now be Silene coronaria, since the taxonomists have been busy reclassifying every known plant). This is a perennial (and second-year-bloomer from seed), with showy flowers. It has the same fuzzy, opposite leaves as your photos, and also flowers from a basal rosette. The flowers are a bright magenta in the species, which is rather striking with the silver leaves.

Photo of rosette: https://fmanos.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1707.jpg Photo of flowers: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c0/bc/49/c0bc49b72c0dd7f2f4a2b1144529c4bb.jpg

You'll know soon if I'm right - it should begin blooming within the next month.


My first thought was common mullein which has yellow flowers, but I live in the Southern US. I ran it through my plant identification app. It returned three suggestions: Rose Campion (also known as Pink Mullein), Lamb's Ear, and Common Mullein.

Mullein can take over if not treated, but it is also cultivated for different purposes. I know common mullein is used to soothe the throat and bronchioles when someone has a cold or flu (or, dare I say "Covid")? Lol

Hope this helps!


The plants with the fuzzy rosettes look like verbascum thapsus to me. It has pretty flowers and is used for medicinal purposes. It's biennial, so it doesn't flower until the second year of its life. Then it sets seed and dies.

  • Actually, taking a closer look at the leaves, I think I might be wrong. I think you should trust Jurp instead. My bad. Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 3:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.