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Don’t Be a Teasel August 13, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in pictures, Wild Flowers.
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Here’s a sight that might give a naturalist nightmares: Teasels waving in the wind. These 6 to 8 foot tall wildflowers are noxious weeds in Iowa and many other states.

It took me awhile to identify them, in part because the photos in my field guides are of related species. After I noticed that another county was spraying them selectively, I started searching the noxious weed databases. That’s when I found out the flowers that had caught my eye were Cutleaf Teasels. The University of Wisconsin’s site helped me make the identification and I finally found some pictures at the Illinois Invasive Species web site.

Of course, the photographers who took those pictures knew they were looking at weeds. So here, dear readers, is the prettiest picture of a Cutleaf Teasel that you will likely ever see:

Cut Leaf Teasel

These babies are so tough to control along roadsides that someone has even written a Ph.D. dissertation on the best ways to do it. You can find it here.

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