Dipsacus laciniatus L.
Family - Dipsacaceae
Stems - To 3m tall, with hooked and straight prickles, striate ridged, herbaceous but stout, erect, typically single from the base, branching in the apical half.
Leaves - Opposite, joined at base and surrounding the stem (confluent), pinnatifid to bipinnatifid.
Inflorescence - Dense terminal, cylindrical clusters (heads) to 10cm tall, 5cm in diameter, with an involucre of spreading bracts. Bracts, linear to linear-lanceolate, to 10cm long, 1cm wide, shorter than flower head is long.
Flowers - Small, hundreds in head. Corolla white, to 13mm long. Each flower with a long stiff green bract.
Flowering - June - September.
Habitat - Roadsides, railroads.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other info. - This and the other members of the genus are highly aggressive weeds which
are spreading rapidly in this state. They may be attractive but are replacing
native vegetation. The flower heads can be used in dried arrangements but
be careful not to spread the small seeds everywhere!
Photographs taken off Hwy 60, Shannon County, MO., 8-11-03.