Information on Small Teasel

Common Name: Small Teasel
Scientific Name: Dipsacus pilosus
Irish Name: Leadán úcaire beag
Family Group: Dipsacaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Small Teasel is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Small Teasel is quite definitely a cousin of Wild Teasel in that it has little spines but it is much daintier and has a much rounder flowerhead of white flowers.  Out of each of the tiny, funnel shaped, four-lobed corollas protrude four little stamens making the flower resemble a tiny little round pincushion.  Below the 15-20mm flowerheads are bristly linear bracts which form a little collar or ruff, blooming from July to September.  The plant is not as sharply prickly as the Wild Teasel, the tips of the bristles ending in soft hairs, 'pilosis'  translating as 'covered in soft hairs'.  In its first year – it's a biennial – it forms a rosette of oblong, toothed, stalked leaves.  When the ridged, branched stem grows in the second year it carries the flowerheads and oval stem-leaves up to 1.5 metres.  This plant grows in damp sites, open woodland and hedgerows.  It belongs to the family Dipsaceae and is not a native of Ireland.   

I first recorded this plant in Co Dublin in 2007 and I photographed it at that time. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Teasel, Small
Teasel, Small

The jury is still out on this identification.  There is a possibility that the plant which I found in Co Dublin is 'Dipsacus pilosis'  but also that it may be a plant very similar which has come to our shores from further afield than England or Wales where Dipsacus pilosus grows.  If/when I get nearer to the precise facts about the plant in my photograph, I will alter this page of the website.