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Cut-leaved Teasel

Dipsacus laciniatus

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Ditches, fields, roadsides, wasteland.

Pink, 4 petals
The flowers are pale pink or white. They appear inside a cylindrical head, up to 4 inches (10cm) tall and 1.5 inches (4cm) wide. The bracts of the flowerheads are up to 4 inches (10cm) long and end in a sharp point.
The fruit is an achene, measuring up to 1cm in length. The flowerheads produce hundreds of seeds which turn dark brown upon ripening.
The leaves are deeply lobed and appear in opposite pairs up the stem. The lobes are further divided into smaller lobes. Basal leaves are smaller, not lobed but coarsely toothed. The edges of the basal leaves are crinkly. Throughout the British Isles, Cut-leaved Teasel is mainly found around Oxford.
Other Names:
Cutleaf Teasel.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Dipsacus laciniatus, commonly known as Cut-leaved Teasel, is a species of perennial herb that is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. 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 4-6 feet tall and has deeply lobed, spiky leaves and large, spiky flower heads that are typically pink or purple in color. The plant typically blooms in the summer and fall. Dipsacus laciniatus is an ornamental plant that is grown for its striking and large spiky flowerheads. It is also used in dried flower arrangements. The seeds and dried flowers of this teasel are also used in traditional medicine. 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.


Cut-leaved Teasel: An Impressive Plant with a Surprising History

Cut-leaved teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus) is a striking plant that is often used in garden design and floristry. This plant is native to Europe and Asia, but it has also been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America.

The Cut-leaved teasel is known for its tall, sturdy stem, which can grow up to six feet in height. The stem is topped by a dense head of purple, blue, or pink flowers, surrounded by leaves with jagged, laciniated edges. This is what gives the plant its unique appearance and name.

The history of Cut-leaved teasel is an interesting one. In the past, this plant was used for a variety of purposes, including as a natural comb for cleaning and carding wool. The plant's leaves and stems were also used for medicinal purposes, such as treating skin diseases and promoting blood circulation.

However, despite its historical importance, Cut-leaved teasel has now become an invasive species in many parts of the world. This is due to its ability to spread quickly and outcompete native plants. In some areas, the plant has been banned, and efforts are underway to control its spread.

Despite its invasive nature, Cut-leaved teasel is still popular among gardeners and florists. Its unique appearance and stature make it a standout addition to any garden. The plant is also popular for its long blooming period, which can last from late summer to early autumn.

To care for Cut-leaved teasel, it is important to plant it in a well-draining soil and in a sunny location. The plant is quite hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, but it does prefer moist soil.

Cut-leaved teasel is an impressive plant with a surprising history. Although it has become an invasive species in some areas, it remains a popular choice among gardeners and florists due to its unique appearance and long blooming period. If you are looking to add a unique and striking plant to your garden, Cut-leaved teasel is definitely worth considering.

Cut-leaved teasel is also a valuable source of food and habitat for wildlife, especially insects. The dense head of flowers provides a great source of nectar for pollinators, including bees and butterflies. The seeds of the plant are also a valuable food source for birds, such as goldfinches, finches, and buntings.

In addition to its ecological value, Cut-leaved teasel is also used in traditional and contemporary art. The plant's striking appearance and unique structure have inspired artists for centuries. Today, it is often used in floral arrangements, dried flower arrangements, and even as a material for basket-weaving.

To grow Cut-leaved teasel, it is important to give it enough space to reach its full height and spread. The plant can be propagated by dividing the rootstock or by seed. It is also important to keep an eye out for the invasive nature of the plant, as it can quickly spread and outcompete native species. In areas where it is invasive, it is recommended to grow Cut-leaved teasel in a container or to regularly control its spread.

Cut-leaved teasel is a valuable and impressive plant that has a rich history and cultural significance. Its unique appearance, ecological value, and cultural importance make it a valuable addition to any garden or collection. Whether you are a gardener, artist, or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, Cut-leaved teasel is a plant that is definitely worth exploring.

It is also worth noting that Cut-leaved teasel is a member of the Dipsacus genus, which includes a number of other interesting species. For example, Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) is another species that is commonly grown in gardens and used for similar purposes.

In traditional European herbal medicine, teasels have been used to treat a variety of health conditions, including digestive problems, headaches, and skin conditions. Although there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses, some people still use teasels for medicinal purposes today.

In addition to its ornamental and cultural value, Cut-leaved teasel also has educational value. For example, it is a popular plant for teaching about invasive species, plant anatomy, and the role of plants in ecosystems. By learning about Cut-leaved teasel, students can gain a deeper understanding of the natural world and the impact that human activities can have on the environment.

Finally, it is important to appreciate the beauty and diversity of Cut-leaved teasel and other plants like it. These species play a crucial role in our world, providing food and habitat for wildlife, inspiring art and culture, and helping to sustain healthy ecosystems. By valuing and protecting these species, we can ensure that they will continue to thrive for generations to come.