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Dipsacus – Wikipedia

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Etymology and Description:
Genus name derived from Greek word for thirst, referring to cup-like formation where sessile leaves merge at stem
– Teasel name relates to Old English words for ‘to tease’
– Dried heads used in textile industry to raise nap on woolen cloth
– Teasels easily identified by prickly stem and leaves
Inflorescence forms head with purple, pink, lavender, or white flowers
– Some seeds may germinate in seedhead in rainy weather
– Specific flowering pattern and seed maturation process of teasels

Carnivory and Leaf Characteristics:
– Cup-like receptacles prevent sap-sucking insects from climbing stem
– Receptacles may collect nutrients from animal matter, showing proto-carnivorous traits
– Studies debate whether teasels are truly carnivorous
Leaf shape of teasels is lanceolate with spines on midrib underside

Ecological Impact and Invasive Nature:
– Teasel considered invasive in the United States
– Forms monoculture, crowding out native plant species
– Biological control methods tested but not approved by USDA
– Herbicidal chemicals suggested for teasel control
– Invasive nature poses threat to biodiversity and ecosystem

Uses and Applications:
– Seeds important winter food source for birds like European goldfinch
– Teasels grown in gardens to attract birds
– Teasels used historically for carding wool
– Parts used in herbal medicine and traditional medicine
– Teasel handles and gigs have historical significance in Trowbridge Museum

Research, Studies, and Cultural Significance:
– Studies on procoagulant effects and chemical constituents of teasels
– Botanical control methods and ecological impacts studied
– Royal Society for the Protection of Birds provides advice on teasels
– Mentioned in the Oxford English Dictionary and Encyclopedia Britannica
– Teasel handles and gigs preserved in Trowbridge Museum, used in various cultural contexts

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