Facts & Folkore:
Teasels are found by river banks, footpaths, in rough grassy areas and open woodlands. Also known as Venus' basin, the genus name is derived from the word for thirst of water and refers to the water the collects in the cup-like formation at the base of the leaves. Folklore says that such rainwater collected in a teasel has healing properties. And in Britain, the water was thought to be good for eye complaints while the heads were used as a cure for ague. Teasel seeds are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably the European goldfinch. In Anglo-Saxon times, goldfinches were known as Thisteltuige or Thistle-tweaker, due to their fondness of thistles, teasels and knapweeds. Fuller's teasel Dipsacus fullonum) historically saw wide use in textile processing, providing a natural comb for cleaning, aligning and raising the nap on fabrics, particularly wool. The product of the teasing process is called teased wool.
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