Dipsacus fullonum

Dipsacus_fullonum_common teasel_Keir Morse_cropped
Photo: Keir Morse

Synonyms: Dipsacus sylvestris Huds. Dipsacus fullonum var. sativus is reserved for cultivated teasel.

Common names: wild teasel; common teasel; card thistle; Fuller's teasel

Dipsacus fullonum (wild teasel) is a biennial forb/herb (family Dipsacaceae) that is native to Eurasia and northern Africa and naturalized across much of the United States and Canada. It can grow up to 2.5 m and is characterized by its prickly stems, leaves, and inflorescences, lanceolate leaves that are typically fused in pairs around the stem at their base, and spiny ovoid inflorescences with purple flowers that mature in whorls. Receptacle bracts are typically long and upcurved rather than spreading and reflexed, as in Dipsacus sativus. The cultivated form of wild teasel was historically used to card wool and is used in flower arrangements. Wild teasel can form dense stands that are impenetrable to humans and livestock and can outcompete native vegetation in meadows, stream sides, and other moist environments.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate?

CDFA Rating: None?


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.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Dipsacus fullonum Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Dipsacus fullonum_leaf base and stem_KeirMorse
    Dipsacus fullonum (wild teasel) leaf base and stem. Photo: Keir Morse
    Dipsacus fullonum_flowers_KeirMorse
    Dipsacus fullonum (wild teasel) flowers. Photo: Keir Morse
    Dipsacus fullonum_inflorescence (senescent)_ZoyaAkulova
    Dipsacus fullonum (wild teasel) inflorescence (senescent). Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Dipsacus fullonum_growth habit_BarryRice
    Dipsacus fullonum (wild teasel) growth habit. Photo: Barry Rice