Thursday, 29 September 2011


 Teasel or teazel or teazle are tall herbaceous biennial plants whose seeds are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably the European Goldfinch; teasels are often grown in gardens and encouraged on some nature reserves to attract them. Our Goldfinches seem to prefer the ease of picking niger seeds out of the seed feeder.

In 'the good old days' the seed-heads were used for teasing wool (or perhaps that should be teazing wool) - they didn't make fun of or attempt to provoke the wool in a playful way; they fluffed or separated the fibres by brushing them in the wrong direction.

Presumably the women did the teazing but the men did the harvesting - unless the women were a lot taller than Jo!!!!


  1. Last year, during one of my lunch break walks, I saw a finch (that particular kind is called Distelfink in German, meaning thistle finch) actually on such a plant, having is own lunch break.
    I had only my mobile with me and the camera on that one is not very good, so I never took a picture.

  2. That must be the tallest Teasel I've seen..A great teazle.

  3. One must not TEASE a woman who is not tall! Beautiful tall plant!
    Thanks for commenting on my blog too! I can't reply on there for some reason...I've just figured out that there is an "Edit" button at the top and I can fix things on there after I've posted. Alas, if I only had such a button for my life! (But if I do, I wouldn't find it either!)

  4. I was thinking 'we have those here too' until I saw the photo of Jo and realized that we don't have anything quite that big!

  5. My Grandmother loved teasels. I remember making a lot of teasel wreaths and bouquets for her adorned with gold and silver spray paint as a child.

  6. My sister-in-law used to make little pin cushion dolls with cloth bodies, aprons, and bonnets with teasels for heads. She made dozens for the WI works sales and they always sold well. Very fiddly to make, which is why she doesn't make them any more. I tried to make one and had to face up to the fact that "some of us got it, and some of us don't!" I think the one Jo is picking from is the tallest teasel plant I've ever seen.


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