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Annual Biennial

Dipsacus fullonum
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

common teasel

D. fullonum is a biennial, to 3m, erect with side branches. Foliage is bright green, prickly on lower mid-ribs, the stem leaves joined at the base to cup the stem. Flowerheads, to 6cm long, are stiffly bristly from the projecting calyx spines. The flowers are tiny and blue, appearing in a band round the flowerhead over an extended flowering time. Plant remains intact throughout winter, and seedheads attract goldfinches

Other common names
Adam's flannel
barber's brushes
see morecarde thistle
church brooms
clothes brush
gypsy's comb
hutton weed
Indian thistle
prickly back
shepherd's rod
shepherd's staff
Venus' basin
Venus' bath
Venus' cup
water thistle
wild teasel
wood broom
Synonyms
Dipsacus fullonum subsp. fullonum
Dipsacus sylvestris

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Blue Green
Autumn Brown Brown
Winter Brown
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Caprifoliaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Dipsacus are erect biennials or perennials with simple or pinnate leaves and crowded heads of numerous small flowers in dense terminal capitula, the calyx teeth bristly

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, N Africa, SW Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any moderately fertile soil, including heavy clay, in sun or partial shade. The flowerheads can be harvested for air-drying from mid to late summer, or left for birds over winter

Propagation

Propagate by seed in situ in autumn or spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Banks and slopes
  • Cut flowers
Pruning

No pruning necessary

Pests

Prone to aphids

Diseases

Generally disease free

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