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Take care with Verbascum.

As a longtime reader and someone who has relied heavily on the guidance found in the Sunset Western Garden Book, I am amazed that you would recommend planting mullein in a Western garden ("Whopper Perennials," March, page 68). Mullein is classified as a noxious weed in Colorado. Our homeowners' association would horsewhip (or worse) anyone who actually planted it; most of us spend many hours each summer trying to eradicate this pest.

EDITOR'S NOTE You are quite right about common mullein (Verbascum thapsus): It is indeed a noxious weed in Colorado. As it says in the newly revised Sunset Western Garden Book (2007), "Mulleins self-sow freely--and some are downright weedy, such as ... V. thapsus." In our March article, we listed "Mullein (Verbascum species)," intending to refer to those that are not weedy (such as V. bombyciferum 'Arctic Summer', pictured in the article). It was not our intent to recommend all mulleins.

Has a Sunset story inspired you to try something new? Please tell us about it. See "Get in Touch," page 19.

John Paul, Castle Rock, CO
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Reader letters
Author:Paul, John
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:May 1, 2007
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