Small Teasel - Dipsacus pilosus


Medium to tall plant reaching 1.5 metres. Stems erect, sparsely prickly. Basal leaves form a rosette in the first year and are oval narrowing to a long stalk, hairy and toothed. Stem leaves are oval, short stalked with a basal pair of leaflets, often unequal. Flowerheads globose, 1.5 to 2 cm, the flowers whitish and with long, narrowly triangular bracts.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Prickly stems, small round flower heads, upper stem-leaves with stalks

Recording advice

A photo of the whole plant in habitat, showing flowers and upper leaves


Damp, shady habitats.

When to see it

Flowers August and September.

Life History


UK Status

Found mainly in England and eastern Wales, though not particularly common.

VC55 Status

Infrequent and local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 8 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as Native; woodlands and shady streamsides; now scarce and most sites that remain are in Leighfield Forest. 

It is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map