Introduced Species Of California Common Teasel Research Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Animals Type: Research Paper Paper: #90533691 Related Topics: Reproductive System, Zoology, Animal Research, Color Purple
Excerpt from Research Paper :

¶ … Species of California (Common Teasel)

The Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) is a plant species identified by several alternate names, including wild teasel, Indian teasel, card teasel, card thistle, gypsy-comb, Venus-cup, and finally Fuller's teasel. With the exception of the great plains region in the north, it can be found growing wild throughout the continental United Staes and parts of Canada. Fuller's teasel is actually a cultivated variety (Dipsacus sativus), which is often confused with its wild form, the common teasel. The teasel is not native to California, having originated in Eurasia and Northern Africa and proliferated accidentally during the eighteenth century as a contaminant in imported seed stocks and in flower arrangements. The cultivated teasel variety was used as an ornamental item in dried flower displays, as well as a hairbrush, and for creating wool. Common teasel is classified in the United States as a noxious invasive species that is rated as moderately problematic to native ecosystems. This occurs primarily when it grows into high-density stands that obstruct the movement of humans or domestic animals. It is occasionally referred to as a "bio-bully" species. Common teasel occurs most often in riparian or wetland areas, but has adapted over the past thirty years to flourish in open non-wetland areas with abundant sunshine, and is commonly observed along highways, grassy meadows, cemeteries, and disturbed sites at elevations ranging from sea level to 5500 feet (Calflora).

Fuller's teasel was a reference to the puckered appearance of the leaves. The name was derived from the archaic verb to full, which referred to a process used to thicken and shrink cloth using heat, moisture and pressure. The prickly fruit of the D. sativus variety was also used to raise the nap on woolen fabrics. This process was called teasing wool, which resulted in the name teasel for the


The tradespersons who carried out this craft were known as fullers, giving rise to the name of the common teasel's progenitor (Reeves).

The common teasel (hereafter referred to as "teasel") is a monocarpic biennial plant, which means that its typical two-year life cycle ends after it has flowered and set seeds. It will then sprout once again as a new plant. (Gucker). Following germination, the plant has a rosette form with the leaf bases fused together to form a cup, which surrounds the stem and collects rain water. The name dipsacus originated from this feature, derived from the Greek word dipsa, meaning "to thirst." The leaves have a puckered appearance, with ribbed edges and small spines along the middle of the underside of each leaf (Reeves).

In the one to two years following germination, the plant grows a flowering, prickly stem which can be from two to eight feet in height. The flowers are purple or lavender to white in color, small in size and arranged in dense conical formations called heads, three to ten centimeters in length consisting of up to 1,500 flowers each. Between the flowering and seed-producing stages, the stems become woody, with branches appearing in the upper part of the plant. The flowering season for teasel varies slightly according to its location. In California, flowering takes place between the months of April and August, and is delayed by one to three months in the midwestern and Northeastern states. The flowers are pollinated by insects, and seeds mature during the Fall. Seed dispersion occurs in several ways. The majority of seeds fall near the base of the plant, but can be transported over several weeks to greater distances, carried by wind, moving water and soil, animals, and human activities such as mowing. The seeds themselves are capable for surviving for over five years before germinating, and individual stands of teasel may thrive and persist for two or more decades. The underground structure of the teasel consists of a thick and fleshy tap root system descending to a depth of two to…

Sources Used in Documents:


"Calflora: Dipsacus fullonum." 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.

DiTomaso, Joseph M., and Healy, Evelyn A. "Dicots: Dipsacacae (Teasel Family)." Weeds of California and Other Western States. Vol. 1. University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resouces, 2007. 685-688. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.

Gucker, Corey L. "Dipsacus fullonum, D. laciniatus." U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). 2009. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.

"Invasive Species - Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum subsp. sylvestris) - WDNR." 3 Sept. 2004. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.

Cite this Document:

"Introduced Species Of California Common Teasel" (2011, November 14) Retrieved October 16, 2021, from

"Introduced Species Of California Common Teasel" 14 November 2011. Web.16 October. 2021. <>

"Introduced Species Of California Common Teasel", 14 November 2011, Accessed.16 October. 2021,

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