Mullein, a biennial herb originally native to Europe and Asia, is now also widely distributed over most of North America. It grows well in the porous cinder soils on the slopes of Maunakea. It can be found thriving on the slopes of the cinder cones all around the Visitor Information Station (VIS) on Maunakea.
Mullein was originally brought to America by settlers who used the plant medicinally to treat coughs and diarrhea and as a respiratory stimulant for the lungs when smoked. A methanol extract from common mullein has been used as an insecticide for mosquito larvae.