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Dipsacaceae: Teasel Family Plant Identification Characteristics

Plants of the Teasel Family

      The Teasel family is not native to our country, but a few plants, particularly teasel, have become widely naturalized here. The flower heads could easily be mistaken for those of the Aster Family. The individual flowers are bisexual and slightly irregular, clustered in a dense head. There are 5 sepals and 4 or 5 united petals, plus 4 stamens. The ovary is positioned inferior and consists of 2 united carpels (bicarpellate), but aborts one, forming just 1 chamber. It produces a dry seed (an achene) enclosed in a sac. Worldwide, there are 12 genera and 350 species. Three genera were introduced from Europe, including the cultivated pin cushion flower (Scabiosa).

Key Words: Aster-like blossoms with slightly irregular flowers.

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Dipsacus sp. Teasel.

Dipsacus sp. Teasel. Teasel was imported from Eurasia, and it is now common across North America.

Knautia arvensis. Blue Buttons.

Knautia arvensis. Blue Buttons. Blue buttons were imported from Eurasia.

Knautia arvensis. Blue Buttons.

Blue Buttons: Knautia arvensis. Photographed in Sweden.

Knautia arvensis. Blue Buttons.

Blue Buttons: Knautia arvensis.

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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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Botany in a Day
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