Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Common Teasel

Blooming
Just about everyone around the world recognizes this spiny plant’s egg-shaped seed head when it’s dried (see photo below) but this is what a teasel looks like in bloom. As you can see, I’m not the only one who’s fascinated by the flower. The bumblebee likes it too.
Before Blooming
Until the nineteeth century, the common teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) was widely used by the textile industry as a natural comb. Weavers used them to clean, align and raise the nap on wool fabrics. Even today, some handweavers prefer natural teasels to to metal ones for raising fabric nap because the seedheads break rather than rip the fabric.
Seedhead
Gardeners sometimes plant thistles to attract winter birds such as goldfinches into their yards . Goldfinches find teasel seeds irresistible. '-) These, however, were planted by Mother Nature in a roadside field.

12 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

I plant cone flowers whose seeds attract gold finches too. I would plant thistle seed if I could find some.

Abraham Lincoln
—Brookville, Ohio

see you there! said...

I've seen this in the dried form but never blossoming. It is quite pretty.

Darla

Small City Scenes said...

I find Teasal quite fascinating. I pick them out of the ditches in the winter to add to Christmas wreaths I make. They are full of a zillion seeds. Thanks for showing the 'before' pictures. MB

Marcel said...

Very nice. I know as a kid the farmers and ranchers hated teasel. I know it will take over a field if left alone.

pts said...

so beautiful!

Louise said...

I'm not sure I've ever seen this bloom--just seen the results. Very beautiful.

Geraldine said...

These are so interesting. I loved the first one, gorgeous mauve!

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Rose said...

Your photographs are absolutely gorgeous! Very, very beautiful.

dot said...

I've never seen such before. These pictures are absolutely beautiful!

Shammickite said...

Mother Nature is so considerate, planting the teasels for the birds... and for the weavers among us!
Super pictures.

Kerri said...

I LOVE seeing the teasel....just don't want to touch it! Ouch!

fishing guy said...

EG: A thistle by any other name would be just as sharp. They were always a tough palnt to get through while hunting ringnecks.

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.