Common Mulleins (Verbascum thapsus) are common along roadsides in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. These weeds from Europe are biennial (bloom in their second year) and have yellow, 5-lobed flowers on tall stalks.
The soft, felt-like leaves are in a basal rosette and are up to 20 inches (51 cm) long. These plants, besides having an attractive, dramatic form, have a number of medicinal and other uses. The wonderfully velvety leaves have been used as wicks and shoe liners.