Small Teasel

Dipsacus pilosus

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  3. Small Teasel


Small teasel is a plant of open woodland on damp soils, usually near rivers or streams.  It is closely related to its larger relation common teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) but can be distinguished by its size and the shape of the flowers and seed heads.

How to identify

Small teasel grows to about 120cm. It has oval, fairly long-stalked leaves and bears globular whitish flowers on branched, prickly stems. The seed head consists of long spines surrounding the seeds but is very different from the wild teasel being smaller and globular in form.

Where to find it

Small teasel is a very local plant of damp, fairly open woods, especially on calcareous soils, throughout England and Wales. It is absent from Ireland, Scotland and the far south-west of England.


When to find it

  • July
  • August

How can people help

Where it is present on Wildlife Trust reserves volunteers can help to maintain the open woodland and prevent excessive shading by taller shrubs and herbs. By volunteering for your local Wildlife Trust you can get involved in protecting plants like small teasel as well as making new friends and learning new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Small Teasel
Latin name
Dipsacus pilosus
Height up to about 120cm. Flower heads globular about 2-2.5cm diameter.
Conservation status
Small teasel is very local but widely scattered and has not been accorded a conservation status.