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Report an Invasive Species




(Dipsacus fullonum)

Priority: -  Prevent

Tags: Agricultural

Identification and Reproduction


  • Teasel is a biennial flowering plant that grows almost 2 m tall. 
  • Will grow from a rosette its first and even in its second year. Rosette and basal leaves appear wrinkled and have scalloped edges. They are spiny on their underside. 
  • Leaves on the flower stem are prickly along the middle of the underside. They are long and pointed with a distinct white midvein. 

  • Flowering stems are ridged and prickly near the upper stem. 

  • Flowerheads are eggshapped and flowers range from purple to white. They are surrounded by sparse, narrow prickly bracts that form around the seedheads. Flowers will bloom in rows. 


  • Reproduction is solely by seed. 
  • A single seedhead can produce 850 seeds, with each plant bearing 1 to 40 seedheads, resulting in as many as 34,000 seeds per plant. 
  • Due to its unique flowerhead this plant is popular in floral arrangements.

Habitat & Ecology

  • Teasel is often found in pastures, meadows, roadsides and other disturbed sites. 
  • They thrive on exposed, sunny sites that occassionally experience wet soils. 
  • Foliage will die after flowering and seedset. 



  • This plant is prickly and bitter to taste so is unpalatable to livestock. 
  • It also takes up space, reducing livestock forage availability. 
  • In cases that it forms dense colonies it can restrict recreational access. 


  • Can overtake native grass species. 


Mechanical/Manual Control: 

  • Once flowering stalks are present sever the stem right below ground level. 
  • Plants can also be removed by digging up the roots. 
  • Repeat cuttings of the flowering stem will help eradicate populations. 
  • Refrain from mowing the plants as root crown fragments can disperse and resprout. 
  • Bag and dispose of mature seedheads to prevent regrowth. 
  • Clean all equipment and clothing before leaving the infested site. 


For more information check out the King County datasheet on Common teasel identification and control. 

Header photo (Radio Tonreg)