What is this plant? It's about 6 feet tall now, though I assume most people don't let them grow this big.

This is growing currently (early August) in northwest Ohio.

tall weed close-up of weed

1 Answer 1


In North America this is known as Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), there are many names for this plant described on the wikipedia page, most notable: "Cowboy toilet paper".

This is a biennial plant, and is an introduced species in North America. It is original from Europe/Asia/North Africa.

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    Do not let this go to seed, as it will release thousands of future weeds. Cut the flowering stalks now and dispose of in the garbage, not a compost pile. The rest of the plant will die on its own. These weeds are very difficult to eradicate except by manually digging them up when young; their fuzzy leaves prevent the plant from taking up any herbicides (including RoundUp) sprayed on them.
    – Jurp
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 18:47
  • Thanks very much! Did you just know what it was, or do you have some quick way of looking up weeds?
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 19:49
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    I have seen this one before growing here in Europe. I found it a nice plant so I then looked up what it was. It is called different in Dutch (king's candle literally translated), so I had to google the English and Latin name for you.
    – benn
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:29
  • Small birds eat the seeds all winter here in mountains of Northwest U.SA.
    – Dennis
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 22:23

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