Brought to this country as a method of carding (untangling and straightening fibers in wool and cotton) because of the many spines on its stems. Blooming begins in the center and then moves up and down from there, leaving two rings of tiny flowers.
This plant takes two years to mature. The first year it develops only a rosetta similar to the one below. This rosetta, however, is the beginning of the second year.
All gardeners deserve one of these. A teasel forest at the river. The leaves cup at the stem and hold rain water. This is a second year plant in my weed garden. June 4, it is still young.
Aside from carding, the sturdy dry husk of the flower through history has been used as Christmas ornaments and in dry bouquets.