Wild Teasel - Dipsacus fullonum

Alternative names

Tall plant to 2 metres, stems erect, prickly on the angles. Basal leaves in a large rosette, oblong-elliptical, untoothed, prickly, covered in pimples, and withering early in the second season. Stem leaves linear lanceolate, the pairs fused together round the stem at their bases to form a water catching cup, midrib spiny beneath. Flowers purple sometimes pinkish-purple, in large spiny oblong-cylindrical heads 3 to 8 cm long. Wild Teasel starts flowering in a band around the middle of the head, which then spreads upwards and downwards, with the middle petals falling out as the flowers progress up and down.

Identification difficulty

Various habitats, damp places, rough grassland.

When to see it

July and August.

Life History


UK Status

Common in central and southern England, north to the Humber and in south Wales, scarce elsewhere.

VC55 Status

Frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 260 of the 617 tetrads.

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map