Common teasel flowers.
Common teasel flower. Photo Credit: David Cappaert, Bugwood.org
Common teasel leaf. Photo Credit: Bruce Ackley, Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Common teasel rosette.
Common teasel infestation. Photo Credit: Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Also known as: teasel, venuscup teasel, wild teasel
Common teasel is a prickly weed that appears to have tentacles surrounding its flowerheads. It grows as a rosette during its first year, then produces a flowering stem the following spring before dying. It grows a large taproot that can be almost 2 feet (.6 meters) long!
|Life Cycle:||Biennial (life cycle lasts two years)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||No|
|Height:||7 feet (2 meters)|
|Leaf Description:||Leaves are lance-shaped with wavy edges and spines on the underside. They typically die off early in the plant’s second year.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Prickly, dark pink to pale purple flowers grow at the end of leafless stems during the second year. They have distinctive spiny bractsSmall leaf-like structures that are just below a plant’s flower. under the flowerhead that curve upward and extend above the flower head.|
|Bloom Time:||April to September|
- Common teasel is often found growing along roadsides, abandoned fields, ponds and waterways. It also grows into agricultural areas, including pastures and fallow fields.
- It prefers open areas with sunny conditions and can survive in a range of soils from wet to dry.
- Common teasel forms dense stands where it outcompetes native grasses and agricultural plants.
- Large populations can be difficult to control because each plant can produce over 30,000 seeds and the taproots can be up to 2 feet (.6 meters) long!
What you can do about it:
- Mowing is not recommended. Mowing alone does not control the plant and may spread seeds around the site or to new areas.
- Plants in their first year can be dug up, taking care to remove as much of the root as possible to prevent resprouting.
- Flowering stalks can be cut to prevent plants from producing seeds. It’s important to prune flowering stalks after flowering has already started, or flower stems will regrow. Cut flower stalks should be disposed of in a plastic bag in the trash—not left on site or in your home compost.
- After removing common teasel, make sure to seed and plant the area with competitive native grasses, forbs, and other desirable plants to reduce the chance of regrowth.
Cutleaf teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus) and fuller’s teasel (Dipsacus sativus) are similar to common teasel. Both of these look-alikes have white flowers and their spiny bracts underneath the flowerheads and shorter than common teasel.
Noxious Weed Listing:
|State of Oregon:||Not Listed|
|State of Washington:||Class C|
Download the Common Teasel Best Management Practices Factsheet