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.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map