Teasel in ILI had a request from Alert Flowerophile Mary to identify this weedy plant growing in a field in central Illinois. The flower heads are thistle-like and were green, but by the time she photographed them in late August, were brown. They’re about 6 feet tall.

I had shot the same variety while traveling across Pennsylvania June 29…

Teasel in PA

Turns out, this is called Teasel. Has small lilac flowers, but we missed those. Can grow to over 8 feet. Sessile leaves growing together at the stem. The seeds are winter food for birds, especially goldfinches. A cultivated version was widely used in textile processing until the 20th century; they used the dried heads to comb wool to raise the nap (to tease up the fibers — origin of the name!). Native to Eurasia and North Africa.

Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris)

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