• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Growing Teasel  RSS feed

 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6708
Location: Left Coast Canada
845
books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been trying to grow teasel for medicinal and textile use, but am failing miserably. Has anyone else here grown it?

Last year, I started it inside and then planted it out when the last frost had finished. It needed a lot more water than I expected, and when I dug it up in the fall, the roots were all stunted and tangled, with no single tap root. Maybe it was the wrong time of year to harvest the root? I understood that for medicinal harvest, it is dug up during the first winter... is this correct?

I left some in the ground so that it can flower and give me lovely teasels for textile use. Teasel is a biennial, so it flowers and hopefully goes to seed on the second year. Are they outbreeders? Do I need several plants to get viable seed?

I have a bit of seed left, so I would like to try again. This time I hope to direct seed. What time of year do I plant them? What kind of soil should I try for? I have a choice of good drainage or excellent drainage with very little option to water them during the summer. Do you think they can handle drought?

Tell me, what are your experiences growing teasel?
 
Roberta Wilkinson
Posts: 175
Location: Washington Timber Country
18
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ha!

No real advice, but it's classified as a noxious weed here just a little south of you. It pops up in the roadside ditches without much prompting. Maybe you're being too tender with it? I've never dug them up to see what their roots look like though. They could be the same tangled mess you're getting.

Those roadside areas do get a ton of water in the winter and remain pretty lush in summer, so you're probably onto something there.

If you run out of the seed you have and want to keep trying, I can probably scrounge some up for you towards the end of summer.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2618
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
507
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Teasel grows wild around here. It's habitat tends to be silty-clay soil with lots of moisture in it, and in areas with full sunlight. Not directly in the swamp, but in the next driest ecosystem. Here's a photo I just took of some local teasel plants. They are growing in the bottomlands, in clay soil, in full sunlight, on a ditchbank.

If root crops are transplanted, it messes up the taproot, so they usually come out with a tangled mess of roots rather than a normal taproot. I suggest direct seeding if you want to harvest roots.
teasel.jpg
[Thumbnail for teasel.jpg]
Teasel growing on a ditch bank in clay soil and full sunlight.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 6708
Location: Left Coast Canada
845
books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful photo. Sometimes I really miss having a proper winter. Good to know about the water requirements, that changes my planting plans quite a bit.

If root crops are transplanted, it messes up the taproot, so they usually come out with a tangled mess of roots rather than a normal taproot. I suggest direct seeding if you want to harvest roots.


This is very good to know. I had wondered if it was the transplanting or the soil that was the issue.

I have an area that grows thistles very well, mostly Canadian and Scotch thistles. Do you think teasel would like it there?


I'm amazed it's an invasive species. It has been extremely useful to humans since we started wearing clothing, only to be replaced in the latter half of the 19th Century when wire became easy to make. The roots can make very potent medicine for treating a wide range of problems. The dry heads are popular with florists too. Maybe it's a bit like Kudzu? If people remembered how useful that plant was, they would use it so much, it wouldn't have a chance to grow wild... at least that's my theory about kudzu.

This morning I learned that there are several different plants called teasel. The one I'm most interested in is Dipsacus fullonum Sativus (I think), commonly known as Fuller's Teasel and used mostly for the textile work. I have more reading to do to discover which variety is used for medicinal purposes...

... but that gets me thinking. I once ordered teasel root from a herbalist, and what they sent me was very different than any teasel root I've had before. I thought at first that they had mixed up the bags, but now I wonder if it was a different kind of teasel than I was use to.
 
Roberta Wilkinson
Posts: 175
Location: Washington Timber Country
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is the teasel we get by the roadside: http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/animalsAndPlants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/common-teasel.aspx

I noticed in that writeup that they can grow for several years before flowering. Maybe you need to give them more than one season before digging the root to get a good yield?
 
And tomorrow is the circus! We can go to the circus! I love the circus! We can take this tiny ad:
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!