TEASEL. Wild teasel is a common plant of the English copses and hedges, with a tall, stout, rigid, prickly stem, bearing large spreading opposite leaves, the midrib of which is prickly, and conspicuous oblong heads, the purplish flowers in which are subtended by very long, narrow, stiff, upright bracts. The plant is known botanically as Dipsacus sylvestris. Fuller's teasel, D. Fidlonum, in which the bracts are hooked, is probably a cultivated form of the wild species; the dry heads are used to comb up the nap on cloth. The genus Dipsacus gives its name to the family Dipsaceae, to which also belongs the Scabious (Scabiosa), represented in Britain by several species.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)