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A picture of a Common Teasel

Common Teasel

Dipsacus fullonum

Also known as

Fuller's Teasel, Adam's Flannel, Barber's Brushes, Carde Thistle, Church Brooms, Clothes Brush, Gypsy's Comb, Hutton Weed, Indian Thistle, Prickly Back, Shepherd's Rod, Shepherd's Staff, Venus' Basin, Venus' Bath, Venus' Cup, Water Thistle, Wild Teasel, Wood Broom, Teasel

Photo by CandideUK (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Common Teasel

A photo of Common Teasel
A photo of Common Teasel

Common Teasel Overview

Dipsacus fullonum is a biennial species commonly known as Common Teasel, Wild Teasel or Fuller's Teasel. Typically grows to a height of around 2m. Produces bright green leaves which are joined to the stems at the base, forming a cup-like depression that gathers water, similar to pitcher plants. Flowers are small and blue-purple in colour, they measure around 6cm in length and are arranged on bristly flowerheads. The flowers lead onto attractive cone-shaped seedheads which persist into winter. They provide food to bird species, the European goldfinch is particularly fond of them! This species can be problematic, it is considered a noxious weed in certain locations such as New Zealand, plant with care! It can displace other plants and form large monocultures in favourable climates. Scientific evidence has shown that this species is capable of gleaning nutrition from insects caught in the leaves, studies report a 30% increase in seed set and the seed mass to biomass ratio in plants fed dead flies, thus this is termed a carnivorous species. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Common Teasel

How to harvest Common Teasel

The flowerheads can be cut and dried for floral displays.

How to propagate Common Teasel


Direct sow in autumn or spring.

Special features of Common Teasel

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Bumblebees, butterflies, hoverflies, flies, beetles, moths

Attracts birds

Goldfinches are attracted to the spiny winter seedheads.

Other uses of Common Teasel

Wildflower/meadow. This plant suits being included in planting schemes for exposed locations with south, east or west-facing) aspects.

Garden Biennials

A biennial plant takes two years to complete it's flowering cycle but worth the wait.

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Pollinator Friendly Plants for Summer

Native summer flowering plants that provide the best habitat, shelter and food for pollinators.

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