Dipsacus is a genus containing around 28 herbaceous biennial species native to Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. They grow between 1-2.5m high and are recognised to be partially carnivorous. Cultivated for their thistle-like flowers, this hardy genus is characterised by prickly leaves and stems and an interesting flowering habit. Flowers open in the centre of the head first, then extend upward and downward, forming two bands of open flowers which extend over the flowering period. They are also known as teasels.