- Dipsacus sylvestris
- Common teasel
- Fuller’s teasel
- Barber’s brush
- Brushes and combs
- Card teasel
- Church broom
- Venus’ basin
- Wild teasel
General: Teasel is a biennial noxious weed from the Caprifoliaceae family.
Flowers: Are purple, prickly, egg-shaped clusters, protected below by thin, rigid leaves (bracts). Flowers first form in a ring around the middle of the head and may start to form two rings as the centre dies off.
Stems: Are erect, up to 2 m tall, with scattered white prickles and longitudinal ridges. Typically, they are pale green and branched near the top.
Leaves: In its first year, teasel has large, shiny, rosette leaves with scalloped edges and stout prickles on the upper surface. In the second year, leaves on the stem are smaller, broader towards the base and tapered towards the tip. They are positioned opposite from one another and have short spines on the underside. Leaves remain overwinter as a basal rosette.
Seeds: Are four-angled, light brown and hairy, enclosing a single seed measuring 2 – 3 mm long.
Roots: Teasel has a strong, thick taproot that may extend more than 0.6 m deep, with fibrous secondary roots.
Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium) is present within the Sea to Sky. Teasel can be distinguished by its leaves, having the combination of a broad, cup-like base, tapered end and wavy margins.
Habitat and Origin
Teasel is native to Europe and was introduced to the United States in the 1800s to tease wool. It prefers moist, sunny, open sites with rich soils and favours disturbed areas such as roadsides, ditches, waste places, riparian sites, fields and pastures.
Propagation & Vectors of Spread
Teasel reproduces by seed, developing more than 2000 seeds per plant which can remain viable for up to two years. As a biennial weed, it forms a rosette during its first year, which will bolt and go to seed the following year. Seeds can be dispersed by wind or birds. Humans may also transport and cultivate Teasel as an ornamental plant.
Ecological, Economic, & Health Impacts
- Outcompetes native vegetation, decreasing biodiversity.
- Form dense stands, which decrease habitat and food availability for wildlife.
- May invade crop and farmland, impacting crop growth and livestock.
What Can I Do?
Teasel is not currently found in the Sea to Sky, so PREVENTION is key:
Learn to identify Teasel: use the images presented on this profile page to learn how to identify Teasel.
What to do if you spot it: You can report any Teasel sighting by clicking here.
- Regularly monitor properties for weed infestations.
- Minimize soil disturbances and promptly revegetate disturbed areas to prevent the growth of Teasel.
- Check wildflower mixes to ensure that they do not contain Teasel.
- Ensure all flowering heads or buds are bagged or covered to prevent spread during transport to designated disposal sites.
- Unload, park or store equipment or vehicles in infested areas; remove plant material from any equipment, vehicles or clothing used in such areas and wash equipment and vehicles at designated cleaning sites before leaving infested areas.
- Plant Teasel in a garden, no matter how well-contained its enclosure may seem.
- Compost any flowering heads or buds. Instead, dispose of Teasel in the general/household waste stream at the landfill as the seeds will be able to persist the composting process.
- Move soil, gravel, or fill that has been contaminated with Teasel.
- Mowing is not effective for controlling Teasel as the plant can re-sprout from the root crown.
- To prevent re-sprouting, dig up rosettes and remove as much of the root as possible.
- If stalks have begun to grow, cut only once flowers have formed and remove stalks from the area.
- Glyphosate, triclopyr and 2,4-D are very effective on Teasel.
- If possible, apply herbicide in the late fall or early spring so as not to impact desirable native vegetation.
- We recommend that any herbicide application is carried out by a person holding a valid BC Pesticide Applicator Certificate. Before selecting and applying herbicides, you must review and follow herbicide labels and application rates; municipal, regional, provincial and federal laws and regulations; species-specific treatment recommendations, and site-specific goals and objectives.
- There is no biological control available in Canada for this plant.
- Corteva Agriscience, Invasive Plant Management with Milestone and Other Herbicides: A Practical and Technical Guide for Natural Area Managers, https://www.techlinenews.com/content/dam/dpagco/techlinenews/na/us/en/files/DF_Invasive-plant-management-guide_English.pdf
- Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, Common Teasel, https://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=3018
- Invasive Species Extension, Dipsacus fullonum, Common Teasel, https://invasive-species.extension.org/dipsacus-fullonum-common-teasel/
- Invasives Species Council of BC, Teasel, https://bcinvasives.ca/invasives/teasel/
- King County, Common Teasel Identification and Control, https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/animals-and-plants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/common-teasel.aspx
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Teasel, https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/weedcontrol/noxiouslist/commonteasel
- Northern Arizona Invasive Plants, Teasel, https://www.nazinvasiveplants.org/teasel
- Ohio State University, Ohio Perennial and Biennial Weed Guide, https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=98
- Purdue University, Teasel Plant Species: Invasive?, https://www.purdue.edu/fnr/extension/teasel-plant-species-invasive/
- Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Teasel, https://sewisc.org/invasives/invasive-plants/70-teasel
- Texas Invasive Species Institute, Common Teasel, http://www.tsusinvasives.org/home/database/dipsacus-fullonum
- University of Illinois, Invasive Species Spotlight: Teasel, http://hyg.ipm.illinois.edu/pastpest/200808g.html
- Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, Common Teasel, https://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weeds/common-teasel