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mullein

[muhl-uh n] /ˈmʌl ən/
noun
1.
any of various plants belonging to the genus Verbascum, of the figwort family, native to the Old World, especially V. thapsus, a tall plant with woolly leaves and a dense spike of yellow flowers.
2.
any of several similar plants.
Also, mullen.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English moleine < Anglo-French, perhaps derivative of mol soft < Latin mollis
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mullen

mullein

/ˈmʌlɪn/
noun
1.
any of various European herbaceous plants of the scrophulariaceous genus Verbascum, such as V. thapsus (common mullein or Aaron's rod), typically having tall spikes of yellow flowers and broad hairy leaves See also Aaron's rod
Word Origin
C15: from Old French moleine, probably from Old French mol soft, from Latin mollis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for mullen

mullein

n.

tall plant of the figwort family, mid-15c., from Anglo-French moleine (French moulaine), perhaps literally "the soft-leaved plant," from French mol "soft," from Latin mollis (see melt (v.))

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for mullen

mullein

any of the 360 species of the genus Verbascum (family Scrophulariaceae), large biennial or perennial herbs native to northern temperate regions, especially eastern Eurasia. The common mullein (V. thapsus) grows 0.6 to 2 metres (2 to 7 feet) tall, has a single, unbranched stem with large, thick, densely velvety leaves, and has pale-yellow, slightly irregular flowers about 2.5 cm (1 inch) across in a crowded terminal spike

Learn more about mullein with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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