(redirected from wild thistle)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


teasel, common name for some members of the Dipsacaceae, a family of chiefly Old World herbs found mostly in the Mediterranean and Balkan areas but ranging to India and to S Africa. Species of Dipsacus and Scabiosa have become widely naturalized in America. Scabiosa, commonly called sweet scabious, mourning bride, or pincushion flower (for its head of small, lacy flowers) includes several ornamentals and was formerly used as a remedy for the itch (scabies). Fuller's teasel (D. fullonum) is a noxious biennial weed whose heads of small flowers bear sharp prongs have been used in the textile industry for teasing or raising the nap on wool. Teasels are often used in everlasting bouquets. Teasels are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Dipsacales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


The most famous plant used for Lyme disease- Dipsacus sylvestris being the most effective. The root is the part used. Plant grows up to 8 ft (2.5m) and is easily recognized by their prickly egg-shaped balls on top of long prickly stems with wrinkly opposite leaves that have prickles on the underside along the middle. Upper leaves grow together forming water-catching cup around stem.The oval prickly heads have sharp, pointy fingers sticking out from underneath, and one or two bands of pinkish purple flowers growing around in rings. used for muscle/joint pain and inflammation, arthritis, diuretic, detox, diarrhea, improves appetite, liver, gallbladder, jaundice, warts, stomach, cancer. Leaf tea used for acne.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Dipsacus), a genus of herbaceous plants of the family Dipsacaceae. They are biennial, less frequently perennial, grasses with prickly stems 0.5-2.0 m high. The stem leaves are opposite, often in connate pairs at the base. The flowers are small, gathered in globose racemes that may be elongated or spherical. The genus comprises 15-20 species growing in Europe (mainly the Mediterranean countries), South and East Asia, and Africa. In the USSR there are six species, in the southern European part, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia, rarely (one species) in Western Siberia.

Fuller’s teasel (D. sativus or D. fullonum) has practical significance. A biennial that in the first year forms a thickened root and a rosette of dark green elongated leaves up to 25 cm long, and, in the subsequent year, a stem 0.8-1.5 m long, fuller’s teasel has racemes at its apex and lateral branches of friezing cones 7-11 cm long. When they ripen they form a seed ball with sharp, stiff bracts of scaly hooks that are curved downward. These friezing cones are used in the textile industry as cards for teasing fabric (combing the nap). The plant has been cultivated since ancient times. In the USSR it is grown in the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia. The yield of cones is 6-7 centners per hectare.

Teasel is planted in the plowed area of crop rotation. It is sown in the spring with interrow intervals of 60-70 m at a depth of 3-5 cm; the sowing norm is 5-7 kg/hectare. In the first year the plantings are harrowed before the sprouts ap-pear, hoed four or five times, thinned to a distance of 15, and then 30, cm, and hilled in the winter. In the second year more plants are planted in the thinned places, hoeing is done two to four times, and the plants are shaped—that is, six to eight cones are left on each plant and the apical and small cones are removed. Teasel is gathered when it is technically mature, in three or four operations, cutting the cones with a pruner (with stem knife of 20-25 cm); then the cones are dried, the leaves at the base and the pappi at the top are removed, and the cones are sorted and packed in boxes.


Orlov, V. T. Vozdelyvanie vorsianki. Moscow, 1950.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


indicates hatred of mankind. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 178]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, teazel, teazle
1. any of various stout biennial plants of the genus Dipsacus, of Eurasia and N Africa, having prickly leaves and prickly heads of yellow or purple flowers: family Dipsacaceae
a. the prickly dried flower head of the fuller's teasel, used for teasing
b. any manufactured implement used for the same purpose
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005