Dipsacus fullonum

Botanical  Name : Dipsacus fullonum
Family: Dipsacaceae
Genus: Dipsacus
Species: D. fullonum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Syn :Dipsacus sylvestris

Common Names :Fuller’s teasel and wild teasel.

Habitat : Dipsacus fullonum  is native to Eurasia and North Africa, but it is known in the Americas, southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand as an introduced species and often a noxious weed.

Description:
Dipsacus fullonum is an erect biennial with small prickles on the stem and distinctive spiny flower heads.  Common teasel may reach 6 1/2 feet in height and is primarily a weed of roadsides, pastures, hayfields, and occasionally rosettes can be found in turfgrass.

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The inflorescence is a cylindrical array of lavender flowers which dries to a cone of spine-tipped hard bracts. D. fullonum is the wild form of Fuller’s teasel; the cultivated form is generally recognised as a distinct species under the name Dipsacus sativus.This weed is found throughout the United States except in the northern great plains.

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Seedling:  Cotyledons are oval to round in shape and occur on short petioles.  First true leaves are also oval to round in shape, have rounded or ‘scalloped’ teeth, and have an overall wrinkled appearance.

Leaves:  Plants initially produce a basal rosette of leaves and then flowering stems are produced during the second year.  Rosette leaves are oval in outline, have a wrinkled appearance, and have margins with rounded or ‘scalloped’ teeth.  Leaves that occur on the flowering stems are opposite, without petioles (sessile), and are lanceolate in outline.  Leaves that occur on the flowering stems are also ‘clasping’, with their leaf bases completely surrounding the stem.  All leaf midveins have short prickles on them

Stems: Flowering stems are produced during the second year of growth and are erect and branching near the upper portions of the plant.  Stems are angled and also have many small prickles that are turned downward on them.

Fruit:  An achene that is angled and approximately 2 to 3 mm long.

Flowers:  Flowers are egg-shaped in outline but cut off squarely at the base.  Flowers are approximately 1 1/4 to 4 inches long and consist of many individual white to lilac flowers that bloom in a circular pattern around the seedhead.  Individual flowers are from 10 to 15 mm long and occur on flower stalks (peduncles).  Several long, leaf-like bracts also branch out from the base of the flower and curve upward around the head.

Medicinal Uses:
Dipsacus fullonum root is not much used medicinally today, and its therapeutic applications are disputed.  It is thought to have diuretic, sweat-inducing, and stomach-soothing properties, cleansing the system and improving digestion.  Due to its apparent astringency, teasel is considered helpful in diarrhea.  It is also thought to increase appetite, to tone the stomach, and to act on the liver, helping with jaundice and gallbladder problems.  An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash to treat acne. The plant has a folk history of use in the treatment of cancer, an ointment made from the roots is used to treat warts, wens and whitlows. There is no clear picture of teasel’s actions, but its closeness to the thistle family means it might well reward careful investigation.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/diwsi.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipsacus_fullonum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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