Dipsacus (Teasel)



Dipsacus (Teasel) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Dipsacaceae, comprising 15 species. It is native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa.

Teasel is easily indentified with its prickly stems and leaves, and the inflorescence of purple, dark pink or lavender flowers that form a head on the end of the stems. The inflorescence is ovoid, 4-10 cm long and 3-5 cm broad, with a basal whorl of spiny bracts. The leaves are lanceolate, 20-40 cm long and 3-6cm broad, with a row of small spines on the underside of the midrib. The sessile leaves are merged at the stem and form a cup-like formation where rain water can collect in this receptacle. This pitfall trap may also prevent sap-sucking insects such as aphids from climbing the stems. It is sometimes grown in for wildlife gardens as ornamental plants and the dried flower heads are used in floristry.

Pollinating insects, especially bees, are attracted to the flowerheads, while birds such as sparrows, European Goldfinches and buntings will flock around the seedheads in late summer and autumn.

Dipsacus fullonum (Common teasel, Fuller's teasel, Wild teasel), 1.8 m x 80 cm, is a large perennial native to Eurasia and North Africa. It is the only species that is widely grown. The leaves are borne in pairs, dark green, lance-shaped, narrow and toothed, forming a cup around the stem. The inflorescence is a cylindrical head consists of a mass of tiny, purple-pink or lavender, occasionally white, flowers. Stiff, curved bracts forms a collar around the base of the flowerhead, which appears in mid- and late-summer.

Dipsacus sativus, 1.8 m x 60 cm, is the cultivated form of Fuller's Teasel. It bears large, pale purple flowerheads of up to 11 cm long.

Dipsacus is hardy and will grow in any soil, full sun or partial shade. Propagation is by seed in late summer or autumn. Aphids are pest of the plant.

Dipsacus fullonum (Fuller's Teasel, Wild Teasel)Dipsacus fullonum (Fuller's Teasel, Wild Teasel)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dipsacus_fullonum_002.JPG
authorshipH. Zell
photo licensing

Dipsacus fullonum (Fuller's Teasel, Wild Teasel)Dipsacus fullonum (Fuller's Teasel, Wild Teasel)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dipsacus-fullonum-interior.jpg
authorshipBjörn Appel
photo licensing

Dipsacus fullonum (Fuller's Teasel, Wild Teasel)Dipsacus fullonum (Fuller's Teasel, Wild Teasel)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kaardebol_Dipsacus_fullonum.JPG
authorshipEllywa
photo licensing

Dipsacus sativus (Indian Teasel)Dipsacus sativus (Indian Teasel)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dipsacus_sativus_002.JPG
authorshipH. Zell
photo licensing

Cut-leaf Teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus)Cut-leaf Teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dipsacus_laciniatus_inflorescence.jpg
authorshipSimon Eugster
photo licensing

Dipsacus pilosusDipsacus pilosus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dipsacus_pilosus_2.jpg
authorshipArtMechanic
photo licensing

Dipsacus pilosusDipsacus pilosus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dipsacus_pilosus01.jpg
authorshipPethan
photo licensing

Dipsacus pilosusDipsacus pilosus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dipsacus_pilosus_1.jpg
authorshipArtMechanic
photo licensing

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