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  • A tall biennial growing to 3 m tall with a stout taproot

  • Originally from Europe and North Africa

Teasle 5.webp

Common teasel
(Dipsacus fullonum)

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Quick Identification

  • Pale purple flowers borne in dense heads forming a cone

  • Long bracts surround the flower head

  • Leaves have obvious veins with stiff prickles

  • Leaves in opposite arrangement on flower stem

Teasel can grow in dense stands and takes over open, grassy areas including fields an pastures. This means it can seriously impact agricultural land and threaten nave plant species.

Hand pulling or digging is effective if the entire root is removed. Best done when soil is moist. Wear gloves to avoid skin contact.  If any portion of flower is beginning to emerge, or if seed heads are forming, pick, bag, and remove. Selective herbicides are effective.

Cone like flower heads can be up to 10 cm
tall. The cone is a cluster of small pa
le purple
flowers. The flower cones
occur singly on
tops of stems and
are surrounded by
long bracts that form a cage around the cone.

Leaves & Stems
Leaves arranged opposite on the flower stem.
The stem is stiate-angled with several rows
of downward pointed prickles. Leaves have

obvious white veins and stiff prickles on the
lower mid rib of the leaf. Basal leaves typically
die early in the second season as the flower
stalks grow.


Large, woody taproot up to 0.6 m long
and 3 cm across at the root crown.

Reproduction & Dispersal
Only reproduces by seed which can be moved by water, soil, mowers and animals to new locations.

Small seeds develop inside the flower
cone and are released when the cone is
disturbed. Most seeds fall close to the parent
plant. Plants can produce up to 34,000 seeds each

Preferred Habitat
Thrives in open, sunny habitats with moist soils but can tolerate wet and dry conditions. It can create large dense stands in pastures and fields.

Interesting Facts
Dried flower cones are used in flower arrangements and crafts.

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