Wild Teasel is a
biennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in woodland margins, grassland and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 200cm.
The Wild Teasel bears its flowers in a compound flowerhead, with flowers emerging from within green spines. The flowers open first in a band around the middle of the head, and then open in succession in two bands moving in opposite directions, towards the top and bottom of the flowerhead. The plant is tall, has a stiff prickly stem and large stalkless, elongated leaves emerging in opposite pairs directly from the stem. After flowering, the Wild Teasel dies back, leaving dry brown stems and sharp, spiky seed heads. These have traditionally been used in processing wool fibres ready for spinning: 'teasing' (pulling the fibres apart); and 'carding' (brushing to align the fibres). The name 'Teasel' comes from this usage.
Botanic classification and naming: Wild Teasel is a member of the Teasel (Dipsacaceae) family. The genus name
'Dipsacus' identifies the plant as a Teasel and its species name 'fullonum' means 'carder's plant'.
Benefits: Provides seed for birds including the Goldfinch.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.