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(teasels), a family of dicotyledonous plants consisting mostly of herbs with opposite exstipulate leaves. The flowers of teasels are usually grouped in dense heads surrounded by a many-leaved involucre. The fruit is an achene (inferior and dicarpellary) that is enclosed in a tight-fitting involucre and usually crowned with a calyx. There are eight to ten genera and about 250 species in the family, growing in the eastern hemisphere, primarily in the Mediterranean countries. Teasels are less common in the western hemisphere, where they grow in western Asia and in Africa along the mountains of East Africa to the south of the continent. There are seven genera and more than 70 species in the USSR, primarily in the Caucasus. The most important species are the scabious (the commonly encountered devil’s bit, or Succisa praemorsa), cephalaria (Pterocephalus), the teasel (which has the greatest economic significance), the small scabious, and the field scabious. Certain members of the Dipsacaceae family are sometimes cultivated for orna-mental purposes.


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