Mullein leaves on a dewy March morning

Daily Walk in Difficult Times 10

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Rosettes of silver grey furry leaves are springing up all around the village. Some of them are being mown flat by keen grounds people. That’s a pity because, left to grow, they will develop into elegant spires of yellow flowers. They are mullein plants (Verbascum sp.). I am not certain which species they are until they flower but they are beautiful wild flowers. Additionally, they are the food plant on which mullein moth caterpillars feed (Cucullia verbasci). These larvae are quite spectacular to look at, being glossy white with bright yellow and black markings.  The adult moth is a dull brown affair that is rarely seen.

These pictures show the leaves on a recent cool sunny morning after a heavy dew, when the light was shining through them, and small drops of moisture clung to the hairs on the leaves.

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