Ella's Garden Plants from A to Z: Dipsacus fullonum, Teasel
|Common Name: Teasel|
Characteristics of Plant
|Very invasive - check to see if your state lists this as invasive before planting|
However, for drama, teasel is a favorite of mine. One summer day, I heard a strange sound in the garden repeatedly going "clackety-clack". I followed my ears, and found a praying mantis holding a large bumble bee by its wings and furiously beating it against the leaf upon which they both perched over and over.
The "sessile" leaves form a cup around the main stem which holds rain water, and wikipedia says that upon adding dead insects to that water, that a study noted that the teasel actually set more seed - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipsacus .
Well, if lack of bees is your problem, poisondartfrog noted on a thread in this cubit that teasel is a major bee attractant - http://cubits.org/ellasgarden/thread/view_post/888497/
In Asian art from the Japanese Edo period, teasel is one of the flowers portrayed in their woodcuts - it was used to raise the nap on wool (see wikipedia link above).
Finches love this plant too, and their antics certainly add to the drama.
Characteristics: Biennial or short-lived perennial
4 -6 feet
Potential Hazzards or Invasiveness