Because it is a roadside weed, people pass it by, never really looking at it normally but they do see it in my garden and are often amazed when they find out what it actually is. Oh sure, I get some who wonder why I would bother growing it too but that's all part of the fun of it.
It was several years before I actually saw one bloom. I was obviously not paying very close attention because the darn things grow all over the waste places along roadsides and near ditches. When I finally did see one bloom I remember how awestruck I was. I'm sure if anyone had seen me and been within earshot they would have thought I had lost my mind as a stood looking up babbling in amazement. Instead of blooming all at once the blooms begin at the middle middle of the oval shaped head/cone, progressing up and down at the same time. Its fascinating.
It is a biennial plant forming a rosette of lance shaped leaves the first year and the flowering stems the following year. It grows to between three and six feet tall unless it is this one in my garden. Its more like eight feet tall.
|Nearly eight feet tall.|
|I love the linear shaped bracts that cradel the flower head.|
So why did I soften to this roadside weed...because it has too many good qualities for me to consider it any more a weed than the herbs I cultivate in my garden...and it is just a cool plant to look at.
It was used over the centuries as a medicinal herb, fell out of favor and is again being used for medicine. The dried flower cones were used to raise the nap of wool fabric back in the day in a practice known as fulling or brushing and thus the name "Fuller's Teasel" or Teasel. The bees, blow flies and butterflies enjoy the flowers of this plant and the birds, especially Gold Finches love the seeds making it a great plant for wildlife.
|Just finishing its bloom it will begin to dry and be ready for harvesting for crafting.|
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