Noxious Weed of the Month: teasel


By Ethan Proud  | PREVIEW Columnist

In Colorado there are two teasel species (cut-leaf and common) on the Noxious Weed B List. It has not been reported in Archuleta County, but is present west of Durango, south in New Mexico, east of Alamosa and north of Montrose. It is only a matter of time before it shows up in our neck of the woods. 

Teasel have a very distinctive flower head, arranged in a cone and subtended by spine-like bracts. The flowers are either white or purple. Teasel can grow from 3 to 10 feet tall and, like musk thistle, they are a biennial and only reproduce by seed. Leaves are opposite and form a cup on the stem which can catch rainwater. Like most biennials, teasel has a taproot that can extend 2 feet down. 

Teasel is a native to Europe and was introduced to the Americas in the 1700s to card wool. Now it is a popular in dried floral arrangements due to its unique inflorescence.

If you believe you have seen common or cutleaf teasel, please report it to the Archuleta County Weed and Pest Department.