From mid-summer and throughout winter this herbaceous native with erect, prickly and hollow stems to 6 ft (2 m) tall and large seed heads is a conspicuous plant in the Sicilian countryside. The dark pink flowers attract bees and the seed heads that follow are a food source for some birds. Once used as a natural comb for raising the nap on fabrics, especially wool, the mature seed heads are now a favorite decorative element in dried flower arrangements. Grows in sunny, uncultivated fields and woodland clearings, open borders of cultivated land and roadsides.
Scientific name: Dipsacus
Italian common name: Cardo dei lanaioli
English common name: Wild teasel