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' where Dipsacus sativus is treated the correct name for the cultivated form of teasel ((http://plantsoftheworldonline.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:319292-1). and Dipsacus fullonum is treated as the wild species (http://plantsoftheworldonline.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:319260-1).
Dipsacus fullonum sativus (L.) Thell.
Common Name: Fuller's Teasel
Dipsacus sativus is a biennial to short-lived perennial plant, growing up to 180cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
Of uncertain origin, possibly southern France, Italy and the Balkans. 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.