Fuller's teasel Dipsacus sativus

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
fuller's teasel


Dipsacus sativus, commonly known as Fuller's teasel, is a striking plant well-known for its distinctive appearance. The plant features a robust, prickly stem and branches that give it a somewhat spiky look. Its leaves are arranged in pairs along the stem, and they often form a cup-like shape that can hold water. These leaves are elongated with serrated edges and have a rough texture, adding to the plant's rugged appearance. The most eye-catching aspect of Fuller's teasel is its flower heads, which are large, elongated, and consists of numerous small, spiny bracts. These bracts are stiff and end in a sharp point. The flowers themselves are usually pink, lilac, or purple and blossom in a dense ring around the head, creating a distinctive cylindrical shape that is easily recognizable from a distance. The flowers eventually give way to seed heads that are just as spiky and remain on the plant through the fall and winter, providing visual interest even after the growing season has ended. Fuller's teasel also features a basal rosette of leaves at the ground level, which can be quite extensive. The overall aesthetic of the plant is one of hardiness and resilience, with an almost medieval, armored appearance due to its prickly components. The plant is often found standing alone or in small clumps in the wild, its unique silhouette adding texture and visual interest to the landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Fuller's Teasel, Indian Teasel, Wild Teasel

    • Common names

      Dipsacus fullonum subsp. sativus, Dipsacus sylvestris.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Dipsacus sativus, commonly known as Fuller's teasel, is not widely recognized for being toxic to humans. There is limited information available on its toxicity because it is primarily known for its historical use in textile processing and not as a source of food or medicine. As with any plant, individual sensitivities or allergic reactions could occur if ingested or handled, so caution is always advisable. If symptoms of an allergic reaction or poisoning occur after contact with or ingestion of any part of the plant, medical advice should be sought.

    • To pets

      Fuller's teasel is not typically known for its toxicity to pets. Similar to the information available for humans, there is a lack of evidence concerning significant toxic properties of Dipsacus sativus to dogs, cats, or other domestic animals. However, because individual animals can have different sensitivities or allergic reactions to plants, it is advisable to prevent pets from ingesting it. If you suspect your pet has ingested any part of Fuller's teasel and is showing symptoms of an adverse reaction, it would be prudent to contact a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Erosion Control: Dipsacus sativus, commonly known as Fuller's Teasel, has a deep root system that helps stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
    • Wildlife Habitat: The plant provides habitat and food for various wildlife, including birds that feed on its seeds and insects that use the plant for shelter.
    • Ornamental Use: Fuller's Teasel has unique spiny flower heads that are often used in dried flower arrangements and as decorative elements in gardens.
    • Bioindicator: The presence of Fuller's Teasel can indicate certain soil conditions, such as calcium-rich soils, as it thrives in these environments.
    • Traditional Use: Historically, Fuller's Teasel was used in textile processing to raise the nap on fabrics, especially woolens, demonstrating its utility in traditional crafts.

  • medicalMedical Properties


  • Traditionally used in Chinese medicine as a blood tonic.
  • -
  • Believed to have diuretic properties, promoting urine production.
  • -
  • Considered to have anti-inflammatory effects.
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  • Sometimes used to relieve swelling and promote the healing of fractures.
  • -
  • May have liver-protective effects according to some pharmacological studies.
  • -
  • Extracts are studied for potential antioxidant properties.
  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Dried Arrangements: Dipsacus sativus, commonly known as Fuller's teasel, can be dried and used in floral arrangements for its unique, spiky appearance.
    • Textile Processing: The spiky flower heads of the Fuller's teasel have been historically used in the textile industry for raising the nap on fabrics, particularly wool.
    • Vegetable Dye: The plant has potential use as a source of vegetable dye, as some parts of the plant may yield green or yellow tones when used to dye fabrics or yarns.
    • Natural Bird Feeder: The seed heads of Fuller's teasel attract goldfinches and other birds, which feed on the seeds in autumn and winter.
    • Garden Aesthetics: Fuller's teasel can be planted in gardens as an ornamental feature for its tall stature and interesting flower heads.
    • Erosion Control: The deep root system of the Fuller's teasel can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or banks.
    • Photography Prop: Its distinct structure makes it an interesting subject for nature photography, especially with frost or snow accentuating its form.
    • Insect Habitat: The dense foliage and flowers can provide habitat and breeding grounds for various insects, including beneficial ones like ladybugs and bees.
    • Fish Habitat: When grown near water bodies, the roots and stems can provide shelter and breeding spaces for small fish and aquatic insects.
    • Fence Repair Material: Historically, dried stems of the Fuller's teasel have been used as a natural binding material to repair fences or thatched roofs.

  • Interesting Facts

    • bedFeng Shui

      The Fuller's Teasel is not used in Feng Shui practice.

    • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

      The Fuller's Teasel is not used in astrology practice.

    • spiralPlant Symbolism

      • Protection - The spiny bracts of Fullers Teasel were historically believed to ward off evil and negativity, offering protection to the wearer or the place where it was kept.
      • Defense - Fullers Teasel's spikes symbolize a defensive nature or the need to guard oneself against potential threats or harm.
      • Retaliation - In some interpretations, the sharp points of the seeds heads suggest a readiness to retaliate when provoked or threatened.
      • Orderliness - Historically used in textile processing to raise the nap on fabrics, Fullers Teasel represents organization and bringing order to chaos.
      • Persistence - As a plant that can grow in difficult conditions and is tough in nature, Fullers Teasel symbolizes persistence and resilience.

    Every 1-2 weeks
    2500 - 10000 Lux
    Every 2-3 years
    Spring-Early Summer
    As needed
    • water dropWater

      Fulling's teasel should be watered deeply and the soil allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. It's commonly recommended to provide about 1 gallon of water per week, depending on weather conditions. In the growing season, during hot or dry spells, you may need to increase this to twice a week. Ensure that the water penetrates the soil to reach the plant's deep roots. It's best to water early in the morning to reduce evaporation and allow foliage to dry before nightfall.

    • sunLight

      Fulling's teasel thrives best in full sun to partial shade. It should be placed in a spot where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If indoors, a south-facing window can be an ideal location for this sun-loving plant.

    • thermometerTemperature

      Fulling's teasel prefers moderate temperatures and does well between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can withstand minimum temperatures down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit but should be protected from frost. The ideal temperature range ensures healthy growth and flowering.

    • scissorsPruning

      Pruning Fulling's teasel is primarily done to remove spent flower heads and maintain a tidy appearance. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. This will encourage healthy new growth and improve air circulation within the plant.

    • broomCleaning

      As needed

    • bambooSoil

      The common Fuller's Teasel (Dipsacus sativus) requires well-drained soil with a mix of loam, peat, or sand to aid in drainage. A pH between 6.0 and 7.0 is ideal for this plant.

    • plantRepotting

      Fuller's Teasel (Dipsacus sativus) should typically be repotted every two to three years to prevent root crowding and to replenish nutrients in the soil.

    • water dropsHumidity & Misting

      Fuller's Teasel (Dipsacus sativus) prefers moderate humidity levels but is relatively adaptable and can tolerate a range of humidity conditions.

    • pinSuitable locations

      • Indoor

        For Fuller's Teasel, provide bright light and good air circulation.

      • Outdoor

        Plant Fuller's Teasel in full sun with well-draining soil.

      • Hardiness zone

        4-8 USDA

    • circleLife cycle

      Dipsacus sativus, commonly known as Fuller's teasel, begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in the soil under the right conditions of moisture and temperature. The seedling emerges and develops into a rosette of basal leaves during its first year, focusing on establishing a strong root system. In the second year, the plant sends up a tall flowering stalk that may reach up to 2 meters in height, with leaves arranged along the stem. The flowers, which are typically purple or lavender, bloom in dense, oval heads that are pollinated by insects, particularly bees. After pollination, the plant produces a large number of small, hard seeds, which are dispersed by wind, water, or animal activity. The plant is biennial, so after setting seed, the individual plant typically dies, completing its life cycle, whereas the new seeds ensure the continuation of the species.

    • sproutPropogation

      • Propogation time

        Spring-Early Summer

      • Propogation: For the Fuller's teasel (Dipsacus sativus), the most popular method of propagation is through seed. Generally, seeds are sown directly in the soil where they are intended to grow in spring after the danger of frost has passed. In regions with mild winters, seeds can also be sown in the fall. Since the seeds need light to germinate, they should be spread on the soil surface or covered with a very thin layer of soil no more than 1/4 inch (about 6 mm) deep. Keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged is crucial for successful germination. Once seedlings have emerged and are large enough to handle, thinning may be necessary to provide adequate space for growth. Seed propagation is favored due to its simplicity and effectiveness for establishing new Fuller's teasel plants.

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