Dipsacus laciniatus L. - Teasel

Dipsacus laciniatus plant

Family - Dipsacaceae

Stems - To 3m tall, with hooked and straight prickles, striate ridged, herbaceous but stout, erect, typically single from the base, branching in the apical half.

Dipsacus laciniatus stem

Leaves - Opposite, joined at base and surrounding the stem (confluent), pinnatifid to bipinnatifid.

Dipsacus laciniatus leaf baseLeaf base.

Inflorescence - Dense terminal, cylindrical clusters (heads) to 10cm tall, 5cm in diameter, with an involucre of spreading bracts. Bracts, linear to linear-lanceolate, to 10cm long, 1cm wide, shorter than flower head is long.

Dipsacus laciniatus inflorescenceInflorescence.

Flowers - Small, hundreds in head. Corolla white, to 13mm long. Each flower with a long stiff green bract.

Dipsacus laciniatus flowersFlowers close-up.

Flowering - June - September.

Habitat - Roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This and the other members of the genus are highly aggressive weeds which are spreading rapidly in this state. They may be attractive but are replacing native vegetation. The flower heads can be used in dried arrangements but be careful not to spread the small seeds everywhere!
The flowers of this genus typically open in the middle of the head first and then open towards each end.

Photographs taken off Hwy 60, Shannon County, MO., 8-11-03.


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