Mullein is towering biennial plant with a single stalk up to 6-1/2 feet (2 meters) bearing whorls of leaves and topped with a spike of 5-part yellow flowers. The flowers coat the mouth with a honey-like scent and a sweet taste. The name mullein itself is derived from the Latin word "mollis" which means soft. It has its origins in the Mediterranean, but has been naturalized in North America. The flowering stem was dried by the Greeks and Romans and dipped in tallow to be used as a lamp wick or torch. These torches were said to ward off evil spirits and witches, though mullein was certainly not uncommon in a witch's herbal garden. Frazier writes in the Golden Bough that mullein was added to the bonfire on Midsummer's eve to ward away evil from the celebration. Some ancient magical grimoires have listed powdered mullein leaf as a substitute for graveyard dust when that is unavailable.