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Cutleaf Teasel

Teasels are monocarpic perennials (produce seed only once in a lifetime) that form basal rosettes for at least one year until enough resources are acquired to send up flower stalks. Cutleaf teasel can reach 6 to 8 ft. in height. The plant dies after flowering.

Foliage - Opposite leaves are joined at the base and form cups that surround the prickly stem.

Flowers - The small, white flowers densely cover oval flower heads and are present from July to September. Spiny bracts are located on the ends of flower stems.

Fruit - A single plant can produce up to 2,000 seeds and can remain viable in the soil for at least two years.

Ecological Threat
Cutleaf teasel grows in open, sunny habitats preferring roadsides and other disturbed areas, although it can sometimes be found in high quality areas such as prairies, savannas, seeps, and meadows. Cutleaf teasel was introduced from Europe in the 1700's and spreads by producing abundant seeds. It has been found in Lancaster county and the surrounding areas and should be eradicated if found. Cutleaf teasel is a noxious weed in Missouri and Colorado and is on Nebraska's "watch list" for new invasive species.

Cutleaf vs. Common teasel
There are two species of teasel found in Nebraska. Common teasel Dipsacus fullonum L. has pale purple flowers while cutleaf teasel has white flowers. Common teasel is typically smaller and the leaves are smoother around the edges. Both varieties can spread rapidly and control is recommended.

Contact Information
We need everyone's help, so if you would like more information on cutleaf or common teasel, or would like to report an infestation contact the Lancaster County Weed Control Office. Email: or phone 402-441-7817.

Cutleaf Teasel Seedheads

By Brent Meyer, Lancaster County Weed Superintendent