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Common Name: Fuller's Teasel
Dipsacus sativus is a Biennial/Perennial up to 1.80 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
Of uncertain origin. An occasional escape from cultivation in Britain[
Not known in a truly wild condition.
Succeeds in most soils[
] but prefers clay[
]. Prefers a deep rich soil[
]. Requires a sunny position[
A good butterfly plant[
Fuller's teasel is occasionally cultivated for its seed head, which is used for carding cloth[
]. The flowering heads are also much prized by flower arrangers because they keep their colour almost indefinitely when dried[
The root is diaphoretic, diuretic and stomachic[
]. An infusion is said to strengthen the stomach, create an appetite, remove obstructions of the liver and treat jaundice[
]. The root is harvested in early autumn and dried for later use[
The plant has a folk history of use in the treatment of cancer, an ointment made from the roots is used to treat warts, wens and whitlows[
A homeopathic remedy is made from the flowering plant[
]. It is used in the treatment of skin diseases[
The dried flower heads are used for carding wool and as a clothes brush for raising the nap on woollen cloth[
]. They are harvested with about 20cm of stem as soon as the flowers wither and are dried for later use[
A blue dye is obtained from the dried plant, an indigo substitute[
]. It is water soluble[
]. The colour is yellow when mixed with alum[
Seed - best sown in early spring in situ[
]. The seed can also be sown from late winter to May or from August to early autumn. All but the earlier sowings can be made outdoors.