Dipsacus laciniatus | Cutleaf Teasel
Cutleaf Teasel, often called Cut-leaved Teasel, is a biennial herbaceous plant in the thistle family. Teasels were once used to ‘tease’ or brush woven/woolen cloth, as to raise the surface fibers- the nap.
Teasel plants commonly grow on damp grassland, at the edges of fields and on waste ground, performing well in sunny areas with well-drained soil. Once established they need very little care and are fairly drought tolerant. Its a dramatic plant to place in the back of the border because of its eventual structural architecture of 6ft (slightly shorter than Common Teasel). During the second year of growth, at the beginning of summer, the branched, thorny shoots will produce elongated 5-inch comb-like flower heads. The individual small flowers on Cutleaf Teasel are white/cream in color and bloom in a band from the bottom of the flower head to the top, lasting about a month in duration. If left to be, seeds will sow themselves the next year.
Cut-Leaved Teasel is similar in appearance to Common Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris), but instead of lavender colored flowers, cut leaf teasel has white flowers. And its leaves are pinnately-lobed (cut leaf look) giving them an exotic look, compared to the more common teasel that has ‘entire-type leaves. The bracts of Cut-Leaved Teasel are straight and spread outward at the base while common teasels curl upward.
Leaves on the flowering stalks are large, deeply lobed and wrap around the main stem, forming small reservoirs which hold water, so whenever we hand-water our garden we fill up the crevice-pools with water so insects, birds, and other wildlife can take a drink or get some backstrokes in. Some insects die and the plant consumes them. The flowers themselves are popular with bumblebees, bee-flies, butterflies, and skippers. Plus birds love the seeds and deer leave them alone.
The value and importance of the Teasel plant arise from its important use which is made of its prickly flower-heads in woolen manufacture, where it is absolutely indispensable and unrivaled by any of the ingenious inventions which have been offered as a substitute for its use. Without any other preparation than that of a careful drying in the sun, the heads of this plant are better fitted than any other known material for raising the nap on cloth, removing knots and unevenness, without injury to its texture.
Teasel is also often cultivated for dried flower arrangements and crafts as the dried pokey seed heads add a unique touch to flower arrangements.
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 6 ft
Mature width: 3 ft
Hardiness zones: 3-8
*Please note: We cannot ship Dipsacus laciniatus Cutleaf Teasel seeds to Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, or Oregon at this time. Checkout is disabled for this product in these states.
Check out this great video by The Herbal Jedi