A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds


Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Teasel


Teasels are biennial plants often found in damp places. This means that the life cycle of the plant takes two years. They grow to around 2 metres high and can often be seen in these parts when travelling around even by car as they are so striking. The flower heads apparently have about 2000 tiny flowers which are visited by insects including butterflies for the nectar. In the autumn and winter watch out for flocks of goldfinch which visit the teasel heads for the seeds.

Teasels or Fuller's Teasel as they were also known, were important in the Cotswolds where they were used as a natural comb in the wool trade for raising the nap on the woollen fabric. In the 20th Century they were replaced by metal combs but it is said that the natural teasels are still prefered by some as they produce a much better result.

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