Teasels are probably most commonly known for their brown, prickly stems and conical seed heads which persist long after the plants themselves have died back for the winter. Between July and August, when Teasels are in flower, the spikey flower heads are mostly green with rings of purple flowers. Found in damp grassland and field edges, or on disturbed ground, such as roadside verges and waste grounds, Teasels are visited by bees when in flower, and birds when seeding.
How to identify
Teasels are tall plants, often reaching the height of a person. They have thorns all the way up their stems and a cone-like flower head which gives the plant the impression of an oversized cotton bud. The flowers are tiny and purple, clustering together and appearing in rings up and down the flower head; the seed heads turn brown in winter.
Where to find it
Found mainly in England, but does grow elsewhere in the UK.
When to find it
How can people help
Like many of our native plants, the Teasel is an excellent source of summer nectar and pollen for insects and autumn seeds for birds. To encourage wildlife into your garden, try planting native flower species in your borders to provide a 'nectar-cafe'. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.