Wonderful Weeds: TEASEL – A Striking and Spiky Wild Plant That Benefits Bees and Butterflies in Summer, then Seed-eating Birds During Autumn and Winter

Teasel Dipsacus fullonum

Other names: brushes and combs; Venus’ basin.

Life cycle: Biennial


The prickly dome-shaped heads are a mass of smaller flowers.

Only treat teasel as a ‘weed’ if it interferes with your gardening as it has many positive benefits. In late summer plants reach 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) tall and are topped with conical heads that are magnets for bees and butterflies, insects drink rainwater collected in the leaf bases, while in autumn and winter goldfinches visit the brown heads for their seeds. Loosen the soil around plants you don’t want and remove as much root as possible. Try to tolerate a few of these weeds at the back of borders – although it is an aggressive self-seeder.

Solutions: Fork/dig out; mulch.

Moderately easy to control.

Check out some other wonderful weeds:

Borage Borago officinalis

Chickweed Stellaria media

Dandelion Taraxacum officinale

Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium

how-to-control-garden-allotment-weeds-organicallyThis is an edited extract from my book Weeds: An Organic, Earth-friendly Guide to Their Identification, Use and Control.

Learn how to identify 60 common garden and allotment weeds. Find out how to enjoy, utilise and gently get rid of weeds, without the use of polluting chemical weedkillers…

Find out more about Weeds and buy the book direct from the author here.

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