Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key to Verbascum

1 Flowers usually 1 per node throughout the inflorescence or with lowermost nodes with > 1 flower; inflorescences usually unbranched; leaves green and glabrous on both sides, or sparsely or densely pubescent with glandular hairs; hairs of the calyx and upper stem simple and glandular.
..2 Flowers yellow; bracteoles 2 on the pedicel; pedicels 1-3 mm long, shorter than the calyx; glandular hairs dense on the leaves and on the stems (and extending on the stems to the base)
..2 Flowers purple, white, or yellow; bracteoles 0 on the pedicel; pedicels 5-20 (-25) mm long, longer than the calyx; glandular hairs sparse to absent on the leaves and the stems (and restricted to the upper stems).
....3 Flowers white or yellow; leaves gradually reduced in size upwards
....3 Flowers purple; leaves abruptly reduced in size in the upper half of the stem
1 Flowers mostly in axillary clusters of 2-10; inflorescences either branched or unbranched; leaves densely tomentose at least on the lower surface, and often the upper as well; hairs of the calyx and upper stem branched (dendritic), not glandular (except in V. sinuatum).
......4 Inflorescence generally simple (sometimes with 1-several small branches), dense and spike-like (at least initially); leaves moderately to densely tomentose above (or glabrescent in V. nigrum ssp. nigrum); upper 3 filaments bearing white hairs (or all 5 bearing violet hairs in V. nigrum ssp. nigrum).
........5 Basal and lower stem leaves with blades basally cordate to nearly truncate; leaves sparsely tomentose to glabrate, quickly glabrescent abaxially, sometimes glabrate on both surfaces, thinly tomentose on abaxial leaf surface but not completely obscuring epidermis; all filaments villous with purple to violet hairs
........5 Basal and lower stem leaves with blades basally attenuate (V. thapsus) or distinctly petiolate (V. phlomoides); leaves densely and persistently tomentose on both surfaces; proximal filaments villous or glabrous, distal pairs villous with yellowish to whitish hairs.
..........6 Middle to upper stem leaves sessile to auriculate-clasping, slightly or not at all decurrent on the stem; stigma patulate, decurrent on the style; corolla white or yellow
..........6 Middle to upper stem leaves sessile, decurrent down the stem to the next leaf; stigma capitate; corolla yellow
......4 Inflorescence freely branched, paniculate (or unbranched or with few basal branches); leaves green and nearly glabrous above (or densely tomentose in V. sinuatum); all 5 filaments bearing either white or violet hairs.
............ 7 Basal leaves lobed; upper leaf surface loosely to densely tomentose; filaments bearing violet hairs
............ 7 Basal leaves entire and unlobed; upper leaf surface glabrate; filaments bearing either white hairs or violet hairs.
............ ..8 Mid-stem leaves sessile to subsessile; filaments villous with white to yellow hairs
............ ..8 Mid-stem leaves distinctly petiolate, filaments villous with purple to violet hairs