Mullein is a biennial and in the first year produces a rosette of large, gray-green, felt like leaves. The following year a tall, rigid stalk grows from the center of this rosette. This stalk ( occasionally branched near the top) is clasped along its entire length by smaller leaves which merge with the stalk at their bases. The upper part of this stalk becomes the flower spike. As summer advances, it becomes covered with densely packed buds. In the Northeast, delicate yellow flowers open at random along this stalk from late June until September. The entire plant is covered with fine, downy hairs that give Mullein its characteristic soft, velvety texture and appearance and help the plant retain moisture. In the fall the woody stalks are covered with a beautiful star like pattern of empty seed pods, which turn brown and persist on the stems throughout the winter.
Mullein herb - A City Herbal by Maida Silverman - Ash Tree .., http://www.ashtreepublishing.com/Book_City_Herbal_Mullen.htm (accessed January 24, 2017).