Retired radio newsman and former Cass County commissioner John Cureton has watched this plant outgrow him outside his home on Jones Street. (The Daily News/John Eby)
Retired radio newsman and former Cass County commissioner John Cureton has watched this plant outgrow him outside his home on Jones Street. (The Daily News/John Eby)

Archived Story

Towering herb features square stalks

Published 9:01pm Wednesday, June 16, 2010

By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News

People ask John Cureton about the odd-looking plant by his front porch on Jones Street.
Especially now that the giant mullein plant’s square stalks tower over him.

“I don’t know where it came from,” Cureton said Wednesday afternoon, “but it came last year. Now, for the first time, it’s put out (yellow) blossoms up there. I suspect that’s as high as it’s going to get, but it grew so fast you could almost see the difference every day. I don’t know where it gets all its nourishment. I haven’t done anything to the soil. I suppose it has an enormous root. My impression is that it’s a cross between a weed and a wildflower. The dictionary describes it as an herb, which only means it doesn’t have woody tissue in it.”

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