Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) belongs to a family of chiefly Old World herbs found in the Mediterranean and Balkan areas but ranging to India and South Africa. Teasel is also known as sweet scabious, mourning bride, and pincushion flower. The name "sweet scabious" is based on the plant’s use for treating the itch (scabies).
"I will go root away the noisome weeds, that without profit suck the soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers."
The common name "teasel" likely originated in the textile industry where the sharp prongs on flowering heads were used for teasing or raising the nap on wool. Teasel is an aggressive exotic species that can form large monocultures excluding native vegetation on road sides, prairies, and savannas. A single teasel plant can produce over 2,000 seeds. In the absence of natural enemies, established teasel populations proliferate. For more information about teasel and other weeds, visit Dr. Askew’s web site at
. For information on controlling this and other broadleaf weeds in turfgrass, refer to publication 456-017 Horticultural and Forest Crops from the VCE 2003 Pest Management Guides (PMG). The PMG’s are also available online at http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/pmg/.