NH 1-08 Teasels - Part 1

My Trip +

Fuller's Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum - Photo: Didier Descouens

Fuller's Teasel in early flower stage

Fuller's Teasel - dried seed head


We're going to tell you a story about a particularly useful plant - the teasel.

Teasels were introduced to this environment – and they represent economic history, natural history, and the domestic role of pioneering women. Certain species, like teasels, were once considered useful and valuable, but then became noxious invaders – or at the very least, unwelcome guests.. a bit like the Americans in the War of 1812!

So teasels, in a strange way, represent the ingenuity of the new arrivals to this land, as well as their utilitarian attitude towards nature – quick to make use of something and then just as quick to discard it when its useful days are over.

Look for teasels at you walk along the trail… and if you want to see some pictures, check the visuals on your phone.

So we'll tell you more about teasels as you walk along the trail.

(Audio from Teasels video clip, below)

Teasels in fields along the Dee Road allowance, in the shadow of the Niagara Escarpment. Photo David T Brown.

Full video version
(Requires a data connection. Best viewed on wifi; may consume significant wireless data if played in the field)


Cruikshank, Lieut.-Colonel E. 1908. "DUCIT AMOR PATRIAE.'' TEN YEARS OF THE COLONY OF NIAGARA 1780 T0 1790. NIAGARA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLICATION NO. 17. Digital version available online at http://www.niagarahistorical.museum/media/NHS17.pdf.

Donaldson, Susan.; Rafferty, Dawn. 2002. Identification and management of common teasel (Dipsacus fullonum). Fact Sheet-02-40. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Cooperative Extension. 2 p. [73121]

Gucker, C.L. 2009. Dipsacus fullonum, D. laciniatus. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/dipspp/all.html#DISTRIBUTION%20AND%20OCCURRENCE

Joshua Ellis 1767 (commercial website). Undated. The Art of Cashmere. http://joshuaellis.com/teasels-the-finishing-touch/

Linsteadt, Sylvia. 2012 (June 15). The Indigo Vat: The Magic of Teasel. http://theindigovat.blogspot.ca/2012/06/magic-of-teasel.html

Major, Jack. Undated. Have Teasel, Will Travel. Welcome to Central New York. http://major-smolinski.com/CNY/TEASELS.html

Panth. 2013. In My Lady's Chamber - Teasels for carding - a myth? http://blackcatsews.blogspot.ca/2013/04/teasels-for-carding-myth.html

See also:

Somerset Art Works. 2013. Where the Wild Teasels Grow. http://somersetartworksblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/where-wild-teasels-grow.html

Somerset Art Works. 2013. On The Road . http://somersetartworksblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/on-road_25.html