Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’
Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Arctic Summer’ is a kind of mullein native to the mountains of Greece, but it makes quite a spectacle of itself in Bay Area gardens.
Perhaps the most attractive feature of the place is its large, wooly, silvery leaves, which grow in an attractive succulent-like (although the plant tolerates regular water) basal rosette pattern.
But the plant also gets obscene-looking fuzzy white stems that eventually become covered with yellow flowers, which are attractive to butterflies and bees.
It’s possible to pinch out the flowering shoots in order to extend the life of the plant and keep the focus on the leaves. This is a short-lived plant, and if you let it flower it might only last a couple of years. I’ve let mine go, however, because I wanted to see how the flowers develop.