Monday, September 22, 2014

Fuller's Teasel

Fuller's Teasel
Dipsacus fullonum

Fulling is the process of fluffing up a woven piece of woolen cloth.  Old-timers used to use teasel for this process, thus Fuller's Teasel!  Note that the most often used teasel for this process is not Dipsacus fullonum, but rather Dipsacus sativus, which the USDA Plants Database refers to as Indian Teasel. Indian Teasel is uncommon in North America and not found at all in Indiana.  It was cultivated for use in fulling, but not anymore, therefore it is becoming more uncommon as an alien plant in North America.

So, a better common name for this plant, Dipsacus fullonum, is Wild Teasel while the cultivate form, Dipsacus sativus, ought to be referred to as Fuller's Teasel.

Fuller's Teasel leaves are entire and barely meet at the base.
The seedheads last all winter. Notice that the bracts of this species stretch upwards around the seedhead. The other species of Teasel in North America do not.

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