Handsome, distinctive, tall biennial of embankments, hedgerows and riverbanks, the Teasel can grow to a majestic two metres in height. In its first year it forms a rosette of serrated, spiny leaves and in the second year its angled, prickly stems rise up stiffly, by July producing unmistakeable, egg-shaped flowerheads. These are covered with spiny little bracts and rings of blue-purple flowers. Below the bristly flowerheads are whorls of bracts like long, skinny fingers holding them aloft. The stem leaves are opposite and joined at their bases, so collecting water. In autumn the flowerheads remain, full of dry and papery seeds. This is probably a native plant and it belongs to the family Dipsaceae.
I first identified this plant at Kilcoole, Co Wicklow in 1977 and photographed it at Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford in 2005.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre