Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Teasel - Dipsacus fullonum   L.Only member of Dipsacus in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Dipsacales » Family Dipsacaceae
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DistributionMostly in the Mountains; a few records from the Piedmont. First collected in 1893 on Big Bald Mtn., Yancey County.

Native of Europe; in N.A. essentially throughout southern Canada and the U.S.
AbundanceUncommon to fairly common in the northern Mountains; infrequent south to Haywood County. Rare in the western half of the Piedmont.
HabitatBarnyards, pastures, fields, roadbanks, waste ground.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationCommon Teasel is a fairly familiar field weed in the northern mountains. It is unique in our flora by having flower heads that are elliptical and subtended by long skinny bracts (a few inches long), tiny lavender to pink 4-petaled flowers, and receptacle bracts with long stiff awns. The leaves are triangular-ovate, long-tapered, and clasping. The stems and leaves are prickly. Oddly, the flowers start blooming in a narrow band in the middle of the head -- at the "equator", and spread top-wards and bottom-wards from there! Do not confuse wintertime fruits with those of Datura.
Taxonomic CommentsHere we include D. sylvestris as being only of minor taxonomic value.

Weakley (2020) spilts out family Dipsacaceae from Caprifoliaceae, including genera Dipsacus, Knautia. The references he cites do not reach a consensus and so we will await further developments.
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieSame data. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
B.A. SorrieRoadside, Entre Rios, Argentina, November 2022. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC