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Dipsacus fullonum - L.

Common Name Teasel, Fuller's teasel
Family Dipsacaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Copses, stream banks, roadsides, rough pasture etc, especially on clay soils[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Dipsacus fullonum Teasel, Fuller

Dipsacus fullonum Teasel, Fuller


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Dipsacus fullonum is a BIENNIAL/PERENNIAL growing to 1.8 m (6ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


D. fullonum.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Meadow; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Cancer  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Homeopathy  Skin  Stomachic  Warts

Teasel is little used in modern herbalism, and its therapeutic effects are disputed[254]. Traditionally it has been used to treat conditions such as warts, fistulae (abnormal passages opening through the skin) and cancerous sores[254]. The root is diaphoretic, diuretic and stomachic[7]. An infusion is said to strengthen the stomach, create an appetite, remove obstructions of the liver and treat jaundice[4, 254]. The root is harvested in early autumn and dried for later use[7]. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash to treat acne[257]. 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[4, 218]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the flowering plant[7]. It is used in the treatment of skin diseases[7].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


A blue dye obtained from the dried plant is an indigo substitute[74]. It is water soluble[74]. A yellow is obtained when the plant is mixed with alum[148]. Teasels are also occasionally grown as ornamental plants, and the dried heads are used in floristry. The seeds are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably the European goldfinch. Teasels are often grown in gardens and encouraged on some nature reserves to attract them. A rich source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects. Formerly widely used in textile processing, providing a natural comb for cleaning, aligning and raising the nap on fabrics, particularly wool.

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils[1] but prefers clay[17]. Prefers a deep rich soil[169]. Requires a sunny position[169]. A good butterfly plant[24]. This is the true wild species of teasel, its bracts are too flexible to be used for combing cloth[17]. The flowering heads are much prized by flower arrangers because they keep their colour almost indefinitely when dried[7].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown in early spring in situ[115]. The seed can also be sown from February to May or from August to October. All but the earlier sowings can be made outdoors.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Teasel; wild teasel, Fuller's teasel. France: cabaret des oiseaux; cardaire sauvage; cardère des bois; cardère sylvestre; chardon des forês. Germany: wilde Karde. Sweden: kardvädd.

Native to North Africa, Europe and West Asia. It has been introduced to North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Moldova, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

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. In the USA it has been classified as a noxious weed in Colorado, Iowa, Missouri and New Mexico.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Dipsacus japonicusXu DuanBiennial/Perennial0.8 -  LMHSNM12 
Dipsacus mitis Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Dipsacus sativusFuller's Teasel, Indian teaselBiennial/Perennial1.8 4-8  LMHNM022

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Readers comment

Barbara Hall   Sun Jan 17 2010

Certainly with the epidemic of Lyme disease world-wide and the excellent research by Matthew Wood in his "Book of Herbal Wisdom", Teasel is most certainly being used medicinally for the treatment of Lyme disease with some remarkable results. My own story of using it successfully along with many photographs are on my web site, www.ladybarbara.net

Lady Barbara's Garden includes story of one woman's allying with Dipsacus sylvestris for Lyme disease

LIFE HISTORY AND EFFECTS OF INVASION: The teasel population has rapidly expanded in the last 30 years. Movement has been documented along highway systems, where dispersal is aided by mowing equipment. Teasel is an aggressive exotic that forms extensive monocultures.   Apr 27 2012 12:00AM

Teasel has become invasive in much of North America and should be controlled. Please do not allow it to grow wild. Dispose of seed heads carefully.
Invasive Species: Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum subsp. sylvestris)

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