Herbaceous, monocarpic perennial. Grows as a basal rosette for at least one year. Forms a prickly, angled flowering stalk, 2-6’ tall, typically in the second or third year.
Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted
- Ecological Threat
- It invades open areas, including prairies, savannas, sedge meadows, roadsides, and disturbed areas.
- Rapid range expansion of cut-leaved teasel has been observed in several midwestern states.
Leaves: Opposite, large (up to 1.5’ long), oblong, and prickly. Leaves of flowering plants join into a cup around the stem. Leaves of cut-leaved teasel are broader and have deep, feathering lobes.
Flowers: Hundreds of tiny flowers clustered in dense, egg-shaped heads. Stiff, spiny, leaf-like bracts curve up from the base of the flower head. Cut-leaved teasel has bracts shorter than the flower heads, white flowers and blooms from July-September.
Fruits & seeds: Each plant can produce as many as 2,000 seeds. Seeds remain viable in the soil for at least two years.
Roots: Deep taproot, up to 2’ long and 1” in diameter.
Similar species: Common teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) leaves are not lobed and flower bracts are longer than the flower heads. Flowers are purple and bloom from June-October.
Mechanical: Rosettes can be dug up making sure to remove as much of the root as possible. Mature plants can be cut in complete bud stage; the plant will re-sprout but will not flower. Bag and dispose of stems—late spring burns.
Chemical: Foliar spray with triclopyr, clopyralid, aminopyralid, or metsulfuron before the plant has bolted. Spray rosettes in fall with glyphosate.
For more information on control techniques, visit the Teasels factsheet by the University of Wisconsin-Extension.
- Sources for content:
- Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. The University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 59-61
- University of Wisconsin-Extension Weed Science