Dipsacus fullonum (NL: Grote kaardebol, Wilde kaardebol / EN: Fuller’s teasel, Wild teasel / DE: Wilde Karde / FR: Cardère sauvage, Cabaret des oiseaux, Cardère à foulon, Bonnetier sauvage) is a herbaceous biennial plants growing to 1– 2.5 metres. The genus name is derived from the word for thirst and refers to the cup-like formation made where sessile leaves merge at the stem. Rain water can collect in this receptacle; this may perform the function of preventing sap-sucking insects such as aphids from climbing the stem. A recent experiment has shown that adding dead insects to these cups increases the seedset of teasels (but not their height), implying partial carnivory. It is native to Eurasia and North Africa, but it is known in the Americas, southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand as an introduced species and often a noxious weed. The species (mostly in cultivated form) was formerly widely used in textile processing, providing a natural comb for cleaning, aligning and raising the nap on fabrics, particularly wool.
Image: Viroinval (BE) – 11/08/2012
© Johan Dierckx
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