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Last Updated: Spring 2011
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Synonyms: NONE

Family: Dipsacaceae

Home Range/U.S. Introduction:
Teasel is a native of Europe that was probably introduced in the seeds of a crop plant. It has spread and is now naturalized throughout much of the U.S.

U.S. Range Map:

Species Description:
Teasel is a prickly biennial herb with terete, striate, hollow stems. The second-year leaves are simple, opposite, net-veined, sessile, and connate-perfoliate. The blades are sessile, connate-perfoliate, lanceolate, entire or toothed, and the midrib is usually spiny below. The flowers are perfect and subtended by spiny, awned bracts. The inflorescence is a terminal spike, 4-10 cm long. The petals are lilac to pink. The fruit is a nutlet that is ribbed, hairy, and 4-5 mm long.

Habitat/Growth Characteristics:
Plants grow in abandoned fields, pastures, waste areas, and in forests. The plants produce many seeds and the seeds seem to have a high percentage of germination.

This species’ massive seed production and excellent seed germinability allow it to invade areas occupied by natives. It can outcompete most natives and soon displaces them. Because of its "sticky" characteristic, the plants seem not to be eaten by livestock and thus dominate in pastures.