Invasive Species: Dipsacus fullonum, Common Teasel
Common teasel is an invasive biennial plant that exists as a basal rosette until flower stems develop. The erect flower stems reach 6 ft. (1.8 m) in height and support spiny flower heads that are covered with small lavender to white flowers in April to September. Rosette leaves are lanceolate to oblanceolate, and stem leaves are opposite, lanceolate, and fused at the base. All leaves have short prickles on the midvein. Fruit is angled and approximately 0.08 to 0.12 in. (2 to 3 mm) long. Seeds are small and are dispersed by the wind after the seed-head has dried. Common teasel favors disturbed sites such as roadsides, ditches, waste places, riparian sites, fields, and pastures in most of the continental United States. Only recently was common teasel distinguished from fuller’s teasel, which was once cultivated for the dried flower heads used in wool processing. It is native to Europe.
What are invasive species and why should we be concerned about them?
Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species
Dipsacales > Dipsacaceae > Dipsacus fullonum L.
Synonym(s): Fuller’s teasel, teasel
Dipsacus fullonum – USDA PLANTS Profile
Common teasel – The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States. (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)
Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important
Reporting this Invasive Species
What is the best way and place to report the occurrence of an invasive species?
How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS – Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System
EDDMapS – Report an invasive species to EDDMapS
Cooperative Extension Offices – Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA
How to Identify
This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.
Common teasel is an invasive biennial plant that exists as a basal rosette until flower stems develop.
|Barry Rice, sarracenia.combugwood.org||Steve Dewey, Utah State Universitybugwood.org|
Rosette leaves are lanceolate to oblanceolate, and stem leaves are opposite, lanceolate, and fused at the base. All leaves have short prickles on the midvein.
|Steve Dewey, Utah State Universitybugwood.org||Steve Dewey, Utah State Universitybugwood.org|
The erect flower stems reach 6 ft. (1.8 m) in height and support spiny flower heads that are covered with small, lavender to white flowers in April to September.
|Steve Dewey, Utah State Universitybugwood.org||John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancybugwood.org|
Fruit is angled and approximately 0.08 to 0.12 in. (2-3 mm) long. Seeds are small and are dispersed by the wind after the seed-head has dried.
|Bruce Ackley, The Ohio State Universitybugwood.org||Steve Dewey, Utah State Universitybugwood.org|
Native species which resemble common teasel
Eryngium leavenworthii , Leavenworth’s eryngo – Images at invasive.org
|Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge Archive, City of Fort Worth, bugwood.org||Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge Archive, City of Fort Worth, bugwood.org|
– Images at invasive.org
Additional Images for common teasel
common teasel – Images at Invasive.org
Learning Resources for common teasel
Identification of the Wisconsin Invasive Species Dipsacus Fullonum – University of Wisconsin
Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources
Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state’s land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.
United States Land-Grant University System – Find your land-grant university’s College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.
Invasive.org – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
Weed Identification Guide – Virginia Tech
Jepson Herbarium – University of California
Plant Profiles – Cal-IPC