Dipsacus fullonum - L.
Fuller's Teasel
Other Common Names: Fuller's teasel
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Dipsacus fullonum L. (TSN 35404)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.159982
Element Code: PDDIP02010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Other flowering plants
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Dipsacales Dipsacaceae Dipsacus
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Dipsacus fullonum
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (11Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Quebec (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, ARexotic, AZexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, MA, MDexotic, MIexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada BCexotic, ONexotic, QCexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Dipsacus fullonum is known from throughout most of the US, primarily from roadside habitats. It can also invade natural areas, in habitats such as grasslands, savannas, forest edges, riparian habitats and wet meadows. This species can form large, often dense monocultures that significantly alter the composition and structure of native communities. Recently noted to be spreading rapidly throughout much of its invaded range, which may be linked to the expansion of the interstate highway system, an important long-distance dispersal corridor.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 13Jun2006
Evaluator: Fellows, M., rev. K. Gravuer
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Temperate Asia, northern Africa and Europe (Weber 2003).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: This species is a non-native that has established outside cultivation (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Occurs in grasslands, savannas, forest edges, riparian habitats and wet meadows (Weber 2003), as well as waste places and roadsides (Strausbaugh and Core 1978). Established at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (APRS 2001).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: This species has probably been present in North America since the 1700s (Smith 2004). Despite being present for over 200 years and widespread, no reports of impacts on ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters were found. Therefore, assume impacts insignificant.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: Dense leaves shade out other vegetation (Weber 2003).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Moderate significance
Comments: Can form monospecific colonies (Weber 2003; Smith 2004).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Low significance
Comments: In a limestone fen in Warren County, New Jersey, Dipsacus species have eliminated the habitat for several state listed endangered plant species including spreading globe flower (Trollius laxus) and sessile water speedwell (Veronica catenata) (Snyder and Kaufman 2004).

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: Known from roadsides, meadows, high quality prairies, savannas, steppes, sedge meadows, waste areas, and disturbed sites (Strausbaugh and Core 1978; Smith 2004).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Occurs throughout the US, with the exception of the southeast (Texas to Florida) and the northern mid-west (North Dakota and Minnesota) (Kartesz 1999). Occurrence by county is sporadic (NRCS 2004), but over a very great area, so it is inferred that the range is greater than 1/3 of the U.S.

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Appears to be of concern in the Great Lakes/upper Midwest states (WI, MI, IL) (Glass 1990, Czarapata 2005), the Pacific coast states (Swearingen 2006), MO (Smith 2004), and NJ (Snyder and Kaufman 2004). Although most populations are found in disturbed areas, it appears to be invading more natural habitats in at least these states.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Inferrred from current range (Kartesz 1999; NRCS 2004) and the TNC Ecoregion map (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:High significance
Comments: Waste places and roadsides (Strausbaugh and Core 1978), grasslands, savannas, forest edges, riparian habitats and wet meadows (Weber 2003).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Dipsacus fullonum has been rapidly spreading west and south in the last 20-30 years (Smith 2004) and it is inferred that expansion will continue.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Inferred from current range (Kartesz 1999; NRCS 2004).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Seeds dispersed by water in the native habitat (Weber 2003). Seeds are probably dispersed by vehicles traveling on the interstates (Smith 2004).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Quickly spreads in prairies and savannas (Smith 2004).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: Can germinate in vegetated areas, but under narrow conditions (APRS 2001).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Known from similar habitats in Canada (Kartesz 1999), southern Africa, South America, Australia and New Zealand (Weber 2003). In Australia, it also invades saline and subsaline wetlands (Victoria Department of Primary Industries 2006), to which it does not yet appear to have spread in the US.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: Large number of seeds (Weber 2003). It may resprout from roots or stumps (APRS 2001).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Prevention of seed production either by cutting or herbicides (Weber 2003). It may resprout (APRS 2001), so repeated treatments may be needed. Effective control is acheivable, though there is greater success if control is initiated before a serious infestion occurs (Smith 2004).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Repeat control treatments will be needed, as young plants are cryptic. But there does not appear to be a long-lived seed bank (APRS 2001) or only up to 2 years (Smith 2004). Control may take up to 6 years (Smith 2004).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Digging up large roots may impact native plants and foliar herbicides must be used with care (Smith 2004).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Most populations are found in disturbed areas, which should be accessible. However, the limited horticultural use of this species may mean that a few populations are located on private lands.

Other Considerations: Hybridizes with Dipsacus laciniatus (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Discussion of synonymy from Rector et al. (2006): There has been some confusion over the synonomy of teasel species. Common teasel has frequently been called D. sylvestris (Huds.) rather than D. fullonum, particularly in the North American literature. In addition, those who refer to common teasel as D. sylvestris have sometimes used D. fullonum as the name for cultivated (or "Fuller's") teasel, which is otherwise known as D. sativus. A detailed discussion of this taxonomic issue by Ferguson and Brizicky (1965) concluded that the most appropriate name for common teasel is D. fullonum. The Weed Science Society of America refers to common teasel as D. fullonum, cutleaf teasel as D. laciniatus, and cultivated teasel as D. sativus (WSSA, 2005), and we use this nomenclature.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Alien plants ranking system (APRS) Implementation Team. 2001a. Alien plants ranking system version 7.1. Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse, Flagstaff, AZ. Online. Available: http://www.usgs.nau.edu/swepic/ (accessed 2004).

  • Czarapata, E. J. 2005. Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest. The University of Wisconsin Press. Madison, WI. 215 pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar. eds. 1999. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Vol. 3, Dicotyledons (Diapensiaceae through Onagraceae). B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, and B.C. Minist. For., Victoria. 423pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Montgomery, F.H. 1957. The introduced plants of Ontario growing outside of cultivation (Part II). Transactions of the Royal Canadian Institute, No. 66, Vol. XXXII, Part 1. 35 pp.

  • Rector, B. G., V. Harizanova, R. Sforza, T. Widmer, and R. N. Wiedemann. 2006. Prospects for biological control of teasels, Dipsacus spp., a new target in the United States. Biological Control 36: 1-14.

  • Smith, T.E. (ed.) 2004. Missouri Vegetation Management Manual. Available ONLINE: http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/nathis/exotic/vegman/index.htm. Accessed 2004.

  • Snyder, D. and S. R. Kaufman. 2004. An overview of nonindigenous plant species in New Jersey. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management, Natural Heritage Program, Trenton, NJ. 107 pp. Online. Available: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/natural/heritage/InvasiveReport.pdf (Accessed 2005)

  • Strausbaugh, P.D., and E. L. Core. [1978]. Flora of West Virginia, Parts I-IV. West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia. 2753 pp. [Book undated, date '1978' from Castanea review (fide L. Morse), correct TNC source code is 'B78STR01HQUS'.]

  • Swearingen, J. 2006. Alien plant invaders of natural areas. Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group. Available: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/list/ (Accessed 2006)

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov) . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

  • Victoria Department of Primary Industries. 2006, 29 May last update. Victoria Resources Online: Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) (Nox). Online. Available: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/vrosite.nsf/pages/weeds_herbs_biennial_wild_teasel (Accessed 2006).

  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 548 pp.

  • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 1992. Catalog of The Colorado Flora: A Biodiversity Baseline. University Press of Colorado, Niwot, CO.

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