Teasels are biennial, producing from taproots conspicuous basal leaves that overwinter their first year. The dry fruiting heads are familiar and conspicuous, often being used in winter bouquets and various floral arrangements.

Heads of D. sativus (L.) Honck., “fuller’s teasel,” have long been used to raise the nap on woolen fabrics, because they are less damaging than metal devices. Although this species has sometimes been collected around woolen mills, it has not been reported or collected in Michigan; it differs from D. fullonum in the strongly recurved spiny tips of the receptacular bracts (which are straight in both species below).

1. Cauline leaves entire to regularly crenate-toothed.

D. fullonum

1. Cauline leaves ± deeply pinnatifid.

D. laciniatus

All species found in Dipsacus

Dipsacus fullonumWILD TEASEL 
Dipsacus laciniatusCUT-LEAF TEASEL 


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. March 27, 2017. http://michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Dipsacus.