- Dipsacus laciniatus is a monocarpic perennial plant that grows as a basal rosette for at least a year until sending up a flowering stalk that can reach 6-7 ft. (1.8-2.1 m) in height. The plant dies after flowering.
- Opposite leaves are joined at the base and form cups that surround the prickly stem.
- The small, white flowers densely cover oval flower heads and are present from July to September. Spiny bracts are located on the ends of flower stems.
- A single plant can produce up to 2,000 seeds and can remain viable in the soil for at least two years.
- Ecological Threat
- Dipsacus laciniatus grows in open, sunny habitats preferring roadsides and other disturbed areas, although it can sometimes be found in high quality areas such as prairies, savannas, seeps, and sedge meadows. It was introduced from Europe in the 1700's and spreads by producing abundant seeds. It can be found in the northern states from Massachusetts to Colorado. This is an EDRR plant for the Southeastern United States. It has been reported in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.