24” x 13” linocut of common mullein in brown or pale green, on paper or cloth.
Mullein is a species introduced to North America by British settlers, now common along roadsides across the country. Mullein frequently grows in disturbed, poor, compacted soil, which it breaks up and aerates with its deep taproot, drawing more nutrients to the surface which become available to other plants when its leaves die and decay. The leaves have been used medicinally for respiratory issues, the flowers for infections of the ear, the root for headaches and tension. Before cotton was commonly accessible, folk soaked the stalk in wax for use as a candle or torch.