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Teasel (Dipsacus)

   Teasel (Dipsacus), fam. Dipsacaceae.
   Widespread in southern parts of Ukraine, but in Kyiv it only occurs occasionally – for example, in the vicinity of the lake near Rybne village. It prefers sunny, warm and not very dry places. The plant can reach a man's height. It blooms in June-July, and its compound fruits ripen in September. The inflorescences have unique shape – a head of tough brisles starts blooming from the "equator", after that it spreads down and up in two waves. The whole plant, especially near the inflorescences, is covered with thorns looking quite scary at first, but actually not so dangerous if some minimum safety is kept. From the ancient times, these compound fruits (teasel combs) have been used for textile teasing (napping). When soft cotton textiles (flannel, velvet) and particularly the high-quality thick woolen clothes were produced, the teasel combs were indispensable for a long time.
   Besides, this plant is a favorite object of florists both as a separate interior decoration, and as a part of compositions. The compoud fruits do not require any special drying, they are only dyed sometimes.

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