Cut-leaved Teasel in Winter

by Carl Strang

When it comes to winter botany, some plants essentially vanish, others can be difficult to connect to their growing-season form, but then there are what I call cognates, the species that are so unchanged from their summer shape that we have no trouble recognizing them. Cut-leaved teasel is one of these.

The basic form of the head was established when it was flowering.

The basic form of the head was established when it was flowering.

Teasel in bloom

Teasel in bloom

The stems retain their spines in winter, and the leaves show their divided form.

Not a huggable plant.

Not a huggable plant.

Not huggable indeed, and one of our most undesirable invasive plants.

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3 Comments

  1. The Editors of Garden Variety said,

    March 28, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Lovely images.

  2. Nancy said,

    March 28, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    😦 Sad to hear this is an invasive plant. I have a nice photo from northern Illinois of a female tree cricket sipping from the pool of water that collects where the leaves form a cup.

    • natureinquiries said,

      March 31, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Yeah, it’s a nasty one. Those little cups of water have been shown to give this plant the ability to drown invertebrates and absorb their nutrients, like a pitcher plant.


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