Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wild Teasel and Fuller's Teasel/Gærdekartebolle

Dipsacus is a species of flowering plant known by the common names Fuller's teasel and Wild teasel. It 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.

Dipsacus fullonum is the wild form of Fuller's teasel; the cultivated form is generally recognised as a distinct species under the name Dipsacus sativus. Wild teasel grows wild in Denmark; both Dipsacus fullonum and sativus are found cultivated in the gardens, and they are much alike. 

please click to enlarge

Bank at Kalø castle ruin.

 The Wild teasel grows in edges of roads, in gravel pits and on banks. (and railway banks)
(Please click to enlarge the picture

Besides the mentioned Dipsacus species are in a few places in Denmark are found Pindsvinekartebolle = Dipsacus strigosus/Slim teasel and Håret kartebolle  = Dipsacus pilosus/Small teasel.

The Wild teasel is interesting for several reasons; originally were the dried seed boxes from this plant and from Fullers teasel used for carding wool. The seed boxes are also used in decorations and are very decorative in the garden, both fresh and dried.

Wild teasel attracts many insects during a long period, not least bumble bees and butterflies,

The sap of the plant was used to soothe headache and tootache.The root was used as a diuretic and a tonic for the stomach. Externally was the plant used for lesser wounds.

Source: Nordeuropas vilde planter, 1974, Danmarks Fugle og Natur, Felthåndbogen, 2011

photo Kalø 2008: grethe bachmann

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