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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 97. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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1. Dipsacus L. (teasel)

Plants biennial. Stems erect, several-angled or ridged, prickly, often somewhat shiny. Leaves basal and opposite, those of the basal rosette sessile to short-petiolate, those of the stem sessile, those of a pair sometimes fused at the base. Stipules absent. Leaf blades simple, entire to bluntly toothed or irregularly pinnately lobed along the margins, sometimes also prickly, the undersurface prickly along the midvein, those of the basal leaves to 50 cm or more long, often withered or absent by flowering time, those of the stem leaves progressively reduced toward the stem tip. Inflorescences ovoid to cylindrical heads of numerous dense flowers, subtended by 1 or 2 whorls of involucral bracts of unequal lengths, these curved upward, prickly along the midrib and margins, and tapered to a spinelike tip. Flowers perfect, epigynous, somewhat zygomorphic, each subtended by 1 receptacular bract (this with the body lanceolate to oblong-ovate, tapered abruptly at the tip to a long [to 25 mm], slender, loosely ascending, spinelike awn, persistent after the fruits have been shed) and enclosed in a 4-ribbed involucel of fused bractlets (this about as long as the ovary, truncate or obscurely 4-toothed at the tip, shed with the fruit). Calyces cup-shaped, sometimes somewhat 4-lobed, somewhat 4-angled, densely silky-hairy, persistent at fruiting. Corollas 4-lobed, densely minutely hairy on the outer surface, with a long, slender tube, the lobes relatively short, oblong, rounded at the tip. Stamens 4, alternating with the corolla lobes, exserted, the filaments slender, attached at the corolla base, the anthers attached toward their midpoints. Staminodes absent. Pistil 1 per flower, of apparently 1 carpel (a second carpel aborting early in development). Ovary inferior, with 1 locule, the placentation terminal. Style 1 per flower, the stigma 1, positioned laterally at the style tip. Ovule 1. Fruits achenes, somewhat flattened, mostly hidden by the persistent involucel. Ten to 12 species, Europe, Asia, Africa, introduced in North America.

In Europe, the dried heads of fuller’s teasel, D. sativus (L.) Honck., formerly were used (after the fruits had been shed) to raise the nap in fulling cloth and were cultivated on a limited basis. However, plastic substitutes now are generally used for this purpose. This species, which escapes only rarely in the northeastern United States, differs from D. fullonum in its receptacular bracts with strongly recurved awns. Both of the Dipsacus species naturalized in the state were officially designated as noxious weeds by the Missouri state legislature in 2000. Although these plants are occasionally cultivated in gardens, this practice is considered illegal and is to be discouraged. Similarly, the use of the fruiting heads in dried flower arrangements should be discontinued.


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1 1. Stem leaves sessile at each node or sometimes inconspicuously fused at the very base, the margins scalloped to bluntly toothed; corolla lobes and anthers usually lavender, rarely white ... 1. D. FULLONUM

Dipsacus fullonum
2 1. Stem leaves at each node prominently fused toward the base, forming a cuplike structure around the stem, irregularly pinnately lobed; corolla lobes and anthers white ... 2. D. LACINIATUS Dipsacus laciniatus
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