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Indian Teasel

Dipsacus sativus

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Life Cycle:
Biennial or Perennial
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Ditches, fields, gardens, riverbanks, riversides, roadsides, wasteland.

Purple, 4 petals
The tall, domed flowerheads are pale lilac. The bracts are long and spiny. Pollinated by bees. The flowers of Fuller's Teasel have bracts which are shorter and stiffer than those of the similar looking Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum). The bracts also curve backwards at the tips.
A 4-angled, ridged, hairy, light brown fruit (achene). The seeds ripen from August to October. The seeds are particular attractive to birds, such as the goldfinch.
The leaves are unstalked, lance-shaped and between 20 and 40cm (8 to 12 inches) long. The leaves are spiny on the underside along the central leaf stalk (midrib). Rosette leaves are also lance-shaped. The leaves appear in opposite pairs up the stem and are fused at their bases. The stems are prickly. Fuller's Teasel is an occasional garden escape species. Biennial.
Other Names:
Cultivated Teasel, Draper's Teasel, Fuller's Teasel, Fuller's Thistle, Indian Teasel, Little Brushes, Wild Teasel.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Dipsacus sativus, commonly known as the cultivated teasel, is a species of perennial herb that is native to Europe. It is a member of the Dipsacaceae family, which also includes other species such as wild teasel and devil's-bit scabious. The plant can grow up to 6 feet tall and has rough, spiky leaves and large, spiky flower heads that are typically pink or purple in color. The plant typically blooms in the summer and fall. Cultivated teasel is an ornamental plant that is grown for its striking and large spiky flowerheads. The seeds and dried flowers of cultivated teasle are also used in dried flower arrangements. The plant's spiny stem and leaves were traditionally used in textile production, to raise the nap on fabrics like wool. It is also known to be invasive in some regions and can be difficult to control once established.


Dipsacus sativus: A Unique Plant with a Rich History and Medicinal Properties

Dipsacus sativus, also known as the Indian teasel or the wild teasel, is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the Dipsacaceae family. This plant is native to India and is commonly found in the region of the Himalayas. Despite its origins, Dipsacus sativus has been widely distributed in many parts of the world and is now found in Europe, Asia, and North America.

One of the most distinctive features of Dipsacus sativus is its spikes that are arranged in a circular fashion on top of the stem. These spikes are sharp and stiff, and are used by the plant for defense against herbivores. The spikes are also the source of the name "teasel," as they were once used to tease and card wool in the textile industry. This plant was highly valued for its spikes, which were used to prepare the fibers for spinning and weaving, and it was once considered to be an essential tool in the wool trade.

In addition to its historical use in the textile industry, Dipsacus sativus also has a long history of medicinal use. The plant has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including digestive problems, rheumatism, and skin diseases. The root of the plant is the part that is most commonly used for medicinal purposes, and it is believed to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Recent scientific studies have confirmed the medicinal properties of Dipsacus sativus. Research has shown that the plant contains a number of biologically active compounds, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, and essential oils. These compounds have been found to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-tumor effects, making Dipsacus sativus a valuable plant in the field of traditional medicine.

Dipsacus sativus is a unique and fascinating plant that has a rich history and medicinal properties. From its use in the textile industry to its use in traditional medicine, this plant has played an important role in human culture and medicine for thousands of years. Despite its historical significance, Dipsacus sativus remains a relatively unknown plant, and further research is needed to fully understand its potential as a medicinal herb.

Aside from its medicinal properties, Dipsacus sativus is also a valuable plant in the ecosystem. It provides habitat and food for a variety of insects and animals, and its spikes can serve as a perch for birds. The plant is also a source of nectar for bees, making it an important plant for pollinators.

Another interesting aspect of Dipsacus sativus is its growth habit. This plant is a biennial, which means that it takes two years to complete its life cycle. During the first year of growth, the plant forms a rosette of leaves at the base of the stem. In the second year, the plant produces a tall stem that can reach up to two meters in height, and the spikes develop at the top of the stem.

In cultivation, Dipsacus sativus is often used as an ornamental plant due to its unique appearance and attractive spikes. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun, and it is relatively easy to care for. It is also drought tolerant and can thrive in a range of environments.

In conclusion, Dipsacus sativus is a plant that has many interesting and valuable aspects, from its historical and medicinal uses to its ecological and ornamental value. Whether you are interested in the plant for its medicinal properties or its ornamental value, it is a plant that is well worth exploring.