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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.   And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- Teasel, White (Dipsacus Sylvestris) -
(click on the photos or links to enlarge)

(Teasel, White - 1)  Teasel is a native of Europe, which was planted in the United States because of its commercial value of its dried heads in the processing of wool.  Teasel are thistle-like in appearance, but actually belong to their own family, Teasel (Dipsacaceae).  The teasel in this photo are just coming into bloom.  As can be seen in this photo, the stems are covered with prickles.


(Teasel, White - 2)  In this enlargement of the teasel head, we can see the many individual flowers and the developing spines growing between the flowers at the top.  In the mature head these spines will develop between most of the flowers.




(Teasel, White - 3)  The new teasel replace the old.  In the foreground are the dried remains of last year's plants with many of the head spines and stem prickles missing.  It was the freshly dried heads that had commercial value in the wool industry.  We are thankful, today, for the many alternatives to wool, so that at least some sheep can be spared the abuse associated with commercial shearing.


(Teasel, White - 4)  This is an enlarged view of a portion of a teasel head showing the flower buds as they are opening.





(Teasel, White - 4a)  This is a close up view of a couple of the spines on the teasel head.  Yes, they are as sharp as they look!  Note that the spines also have little prickles.  The use of the teasel spiny heads for "teasing" woolen cloth led to its common name, teasel.



(Teasel, White - 4b)  In this enlarged photo, we can see the individual flowers opening and the spines growing between them.  Each fully developed flower is about 1/2 inch long.  Each irregular, tubular shaped, teasel flower has four lobes forming its corolla, 4 stamens, and 1 pistil.  An anther can be seen developing on the stamen in the lower right flower.



(Teasel, White - 5)  This is an enlarged view of the buds of the white teasel.  We are not sure if the beads of moisture are from dew or from a natural secretion of the the teasel.




(Teasel, White - 6)  God's artwork!  The background of loosestrife adds beauty to these white teasel.  The same is true of all our natural environment, if we take the time to see it.  The opposite is also true; for when we destroy one aspect of our environment, some beauty is lost from what remains.



(Teasel, White - 6a)  Note the thorns on the underside of the sepals (the leaf-like structures that form the calyx at the base of the flowering head of the white teasel).  This wildflower has quite a defense mechanism!





(Teasel, White - 7)  Teasel bloom from July to October.  As shown in this photo, the blooms most often develop in bands around the head.  We have not been able to find any explanation for this phenomenon.  This photo also provides us a good side view of the thorns on the sepal.  Even though God cursed the ground with thorns and thistles, because of Adam's disobedience (Genesis 3:17-18), He sets upon them beautiful flowers to remind us of His grace.

| Wild Flowers of SHL | Art and Photos |

If  you would like to contribute a photo to these series, please contact;
Frank L. Hoffman

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2001 - The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.  All rights reserved.  May be copied only for personal use or by not for profit organizations to promote compassionate and responsible living.  All copied and reprinted material must contain proper credits and web site link .

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