Scientific Name: Dipsacus fullonum

Common Name: Fuller's teasel

Other Common Names: teasel, common teasel

Synonyms: Dipsacus sylvestris

Habit: Seedlings have round to oval shaped cotyledons, and then develop a basal rosette of oval shaped leaves with toothed margins. Mature plants of the second season have angled stems with parallel lines and downward pointing spines.

Leaves: The opposite leaves are lanceolate to elliptic in shape. Basal leaves die early in the second year once the erect stem is produced. Leaves are prickly along the midrib on the underside of the leaf. The leaf margins are largely non-toothed.

Identifying Characteristics: This plant is easily recognized by spiny flower heads that remain throughout the year, which are often used in floral arrangements.

Flower Seed Head: Present during the second year of growth, flowers bloom in a spiral cluster atop long prickly stalks. Individual flowers, 10-15 mm long, are composed of tubular white petals with purple lobes, giving the head a thistle-like appearance.

Seed Fruit: Seeds develop within an angled achene roughly 3-4 mm in length. The achenes are grayish-brown with parallel ridges.

Where Found: Found throughout most of the United Stated, common teasel in often found along roadsides, low-maintenance turfgrass, and meadows. It is often found growing on damp rich soils.

  • Life cycle: biennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Present

  • Plant family: Dipsacaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated; lobed

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: purple; white

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: square or multi-edged

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower symmetry: not symmetrical

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: none