Paxtonvic’s Blog

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Post ashes calm down with Dipsacus fullonum

Fot those of you who were keeping an eye on the cricket  Im sure you will all have been delighted with Englands victory over the Aussies in the second test by 115 runs. Great stuff – Flintoff  walking on air – and  40 years ago men walked on the moon.


After that exciting victory, I took a stroll onto the reserve at the back and found some:

teasel 2

Teasel – Dipsacus fullonum – SOUNDS LIKE A DINOSAUR!

Here are some cool facts about this architectural  biennial plant:

*As with many of our native wildflowers, teasel is known by many different names. The first part of its scientific name ‘Dipsacus‘ derives from Greek and means ‘to thirst’.first part of its scientific name ‘Dipsacus‘ derives from Greek and means ‘to thirst’. This name was given to this plant because of the way rainwater collects at the base of leaves, where the leaf and the stem together form a little bowl. This is also the reason why Romans called it ‘Venus’s basin’ and why early Christians in Ireland called it Mary’s basin’ Ah- sweet!

*fuller . Fuller is the old name for someone who used teasel to comb out wool. Therefore in some places teasel is also known by the name ‘brush and comb’.

* The Irish name  Lus an Fhucadora translates as ‘Fuller’s Herb’. In addition another name is ‘Johnny-prick-the-finger’, due to its sharp spiky form

*‘Today a cultivated variety of teasel is still grown for use in the textile industry. It has hooks on the ends of the spikes, and is used in the manufacture of cashmere and velour fabrics.

*Teasel is also named the herbal ‘fracture healer’ to denote its ability to help heal broken bones and sinews. As a liver and kidney tonic, Teasel provides nutrients to maintain strong bones, sinews and cartilage. In Chinese medicine, this herb is also used for promoting energy and blood circulation. Moreover an ointment produced from the roots of this plant was traditionally used to cure warts.

*In the flowering season the plant is visited by butterflies who sip on the nectar. Each individual flower in the flower head (approximately 2000 per head) produces a seed. After the seeds have formed in autumn the plant starts to die, but the dried stems and seed heads will still be around all winter.

I find those sort of back ground facts on a well known plant we often see on waste land fascinating – next time you spy it – remember what a useful and healing plant it is.  All God’s gifts around us…..

July 20, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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