Small teasel

Small teasel ©Harry Green

Small teasel

Scientific name: Dipsacus pilosus
A prickly, tall plant, the Small teasel is closely related to the Common teasel, but has much smaller, more rounded flower heads. It prefers damp, open woodlands.

Species information


Height: up to 1.2m

Conservation status


When to see

August to September


The Small teasel is a plant of open woodlands on damp soils, usually near rivers or streams. It is closely related to its larger relation, the Common Teasel, but can be distinguished by both its size and the shape of its flower and seed heads - they are much more rounded than those of the Common Teasel.

How to identify

The Small teasel has oval, long-stalked leaves. It bears whitish flowers in a globular cluster atop its branched, prickly stems. The resulting seed heads are also rounded and have long spines that surround the seeds.


Found throughout England and Wales.

Did you know?

The Common teasel was used for carding wool prior to spinning. However, there is no record of the Small teasel being used for a similar purpose.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting, ride maintenance and non-intervention all help woodland wildlife to thrive. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to surveying for woodland plants.