Dipsacus Species, Common Teasel, Fuller's Teasel

Dipsacus sativus

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dipsacus (DIP-suh-kus) (Info)
Species: sativus (sa-TEE-vus) (Info)
Synonym:Dipsacus fullonum
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Long Beach, California

Menifee, California

San Diego, California

Baldwin City, Kansas

Benton, Kentucky

Cumberland, Maryland

Erie, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bucyrus, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Clarksville, Tennessee

Eatonville, Washington

Edmonds, Washington

Federal Way, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 2, 2010, RebeccaPinckney from Atlanta, GA wrote:

Two summers ago I was introduced to the Fuller's Teasel (Dipsacus sativus) by a customer at my booth at a local Farmer's Market in Roswell, GA. She gave me a shoebox full of the seedheads. I have made them into "Teasel Creatures" or small collectible animals. They take at least two seasons to grow in our part of the state. I have several small plants that I am nursing along hoping to eventually transplant them into my garden when they get large enough.
Fortunately, I have an unending supply of seed heads and seeds through my in-laws who live in New York state. The history of the plant is interesting and the children and adults who collect my "Teasel Creatures" appear to enjoy them.
Rebecca Pinckney
Atlanta, GA
Zone 7b


On Feb 23, 2008, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Is known to be invasive in some states.
Grows 1 - 6 feet tall on stout, spiny stems. The flower head is bright green when first forming, as seen in the image to the left. Note the upward curving spike-like bracts at the base of the inflorescence.

Spreads rapidly along disturbed areas: I watched one area along San Pedro Road in McNee Ranch State Park start with two or three plants about 5 years ago - this year there were over a hundred spread over two hundred yards.

Aside from use in decorative arrangements, the dried heads of D. sativus were used in textile mills to raise the nap on woolen cloth. The flowers of a close relative, D. sylvestris, are used to make a herbal remedy for indegestion and constipation.


On Jul 5, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm debating on whether to have a plant or two of this. The rich history surrounding it is tempting, but in these parts, it can get quite invasive and I don't like stickers.

It is quite thick along the roadways and unkept fence rows and that may be the best place for it. I've just always enjoyed seeing it, and keep thinking there has to be a place for it in my garden.


On Jul 5, 2004, axel from Hemel Hempstead,
United Kingdom wrote:

Self seeds readily, but easily controlled in small areas by uprooting seedlings. Try tying a small plastic bag over heads to contain and collect seeds. Young and flowering plants are attractive (light to olive green dimpled foliage & lilac flowers that attract bees and butterflies) and the dried seed heads are sought by flower arrangers.


On Jul 12, 2003, dreamer from Natchez, MS wrote:

I have seen tease along the road side and would love to have some seed


On Mar 21, 2003, Meandy from Tipton, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:

I searched for several years for a source for this plant. One small plant was all I purchased and now it grows everywhere! It does attract many insects who I am sure find it beneficial and I even find it to be an attractive plant, thorns, spikes and all. However, I think that every single seed germinates and thrives and now I am to the point where I am cutting off all flower heads before they go to seed. You have to wear heavy gloves when handling this plant because the whole plant is covered with sharp thorns, the flower head is sharp and is encircled with long claw-like projections. I find it to be extremely invasive!


On Mar 21, 2003, MaryE from Baker City, OR (Zone 5b) wrote:

Teasels grow in very dry parts of our pasture where it is not possible to irrigate. Our precipitation averages less than 9 inches per year. The plant makes a rosette of elongated wrinkly leaves close to the ground then sends up a seed stalk and makes the seed head that blooms in rings. Some seed heads are quite rounded, others are elongated. This is a very interesting plant but can be invasive.


On May 4, 2002, Lilith from Durham,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

A striking plant, with large, spiny heads that bear rings of rosy-purple flowers. Bases of the stem-leaves are joined and fill with water, often drowning small insects. It has been speculated that the Teasel could benefit from these animals and might be carnivorous, although tropical plants use similar water-traps to protect flowers from insect attack. Spiny heads of teasel have long been used to raise the nap on fabric.


On Sep 9, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Fuller's Teasel is a European introduction that has naturalized in many parts of the U.S. It was originally grown for the dried seed heads, which were used to comb wool; some species are still used for their medicinal properties. Not often cultivated, it can make beautiful dried flower arrangements as well as providing winter interest in the landscape.