There has been considerable confusion in the past about the taxonomy for this species. We are following the treatment in 'Plants of the World Online' (http://plantsoftheworldonline.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:319260-1), where this taxon is treated as the correct name for the wild species and Dipsacus sativus is the correct name for the cultivated form (http://plantsoftheworldonline.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:319292-1).
Dipsacus arcimusci Lojac.
Dipsacus botterii Maly ex Nyman
Dipsacus carminatorius Salisb.
Dipsacus divaricatus C.Presl
Dipsacus horridus Opiz
Dipsacus meyeri Chabert
Dipsacus mirabilis Gand.
Dipsacus morisonii Boreau
Dipsacus orsini Sanguin.
Dipsacus palustris Salisb.
Dipsacus purpurascens Gand.
Dipsacus silvester A.Kern.
Dipsacus sinuatus Schltdl. ex Roem. & Schult.
Dipsacus sylvestris Huds.
Dipsacus vulgaris C.C.Gmel.
Common Name: Teasel
Dipsacus fullonum is an erect, prickly biennial to short-lived perennial plant growing from a taproot. It produces a large basal rosette of leaves and a flowering stem up to 180cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials.
Dipsacus fullonum has been introduced to North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Although mainly a weed of pastures and roadsides, it sometimes also grows in natural communities and forms a large basal rosette of leaves in the early stages of growth. This rosetteÂ can cover a large area and shade other ground-dwelling plants nearby. The plant is said to have spread rapidly throughout the United States except in the northern Great Plains, and it has been classified as a noxious weed in Colorado, Iowa, Missouri and New Mexico[
Eurasia - Britain to Portugal, east to Russia (Transcaucasus).Turkey and Syria; N. Africa - Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia
Copses, stream banks, roadsides, rough pasture etc, especially on clay soils[
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Dipsacus fullonum is a very cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -25°c when fully dormant[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in most soils[
] but prefers clay[
]. Prefers a deep rich soil[
A good butterfly plant[
This is the true wild species of teasel, its bracts are too flexible to be used for combing cloth[
The flowering heads are much prized by flower arrangers because they keep their colour almost indefinitely when dried[
Teasel is little used in modern herbalism, and its therapeutic effects are disputed[
]. Traditionally it has been used to treat conditions such as warts, fistulae (abnormal passages opening through the skin) and cancerous sores[
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[
An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash to treat acne[
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[
A blue dye obtained from the dried plant is an indigo substitute[
]. It is water soluble[
]. A yellow is obtained when the plant is 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.