Dipsacus sativus

Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: In most of the literature used in this review, the teasels were described as a group, making very little distinction between D. sativus, D. fullonum, and D. sylvestris (name also used for D. fullonum); therefore information is largely identical. Further, according to personal observation by J.M. DiTomaso, in California, both D. fullonum and D. sativus occur in similar habitats and behave in a similar manner.

Common names: Fullers teasel

Dipsacus sativus (fullers teasel) is a biennial (family Dipsacaceae) found in California’s Coastal and Peninsular Ranges and the San Francisco Bay area. It favors disturbed sites, including grasslands, roadsides, ditches and riparian sites. Fullers teasel’s spiny flower heads were used for carding wool before metal carding combs were created. Teasel plants may grow to form dense stands that are impenetrable by humans and animals. Teasel seeds can survive in the soil for 6 years or more, and once a dense population is established, it can persist for decades. Small populations may be mechanically controlled by removing plants to a few inches below the root crown.

Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

    Other Resources

    • USDA PLANTS database -
      Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
    • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
    • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
    • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.

    Symposium Presentations

    • Carrithers, V. F. (1997). Using Transline* herbicide to control invasive plants. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '97. Concord, CA.

    Cal-IPC News Articles

    • None for this species.