Monday 24th July 2017
Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
In our wildflower meadow you may notice the teasels conical, spiky flower heads nodding in the breeze towering above the surrounding flora. The flowers form rings around the flower head with tiny purple flowers which attract bees in the summer and the resulting seeds attract wildbirds. For aphids however, the flowers present a hidden danger as the plant is partially carnivorous as the ring of leaves at the base of the plant fills with water and traps aphids, preventing them from consuming the plant and feeding the teasel. A Study by Francis Darwin showed that teasels which drown more aphids produce more seeds.
By Tom Cowley
Fun fact; Did you know that some species of teasel are used to process wool as combs to align and clean the fibers and in the language of the flowers the teasel stands for misanthropy