We found ourselves near the intersection of Route 83 and Kean Avenue, clipping flowers from numerous teasel plants growing in disturbed areas near the road. Because this is what they do. And that is what we do.
Teasel: the stems are prickly, the leaves are prickly, the flowers are extremely prickly. What's not to like about this plant? Like cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum), the leaves join together around the central stem and hold rainwater. Allegedly, bugs trapped in the rainwater decay and feed nitrogen and phosphorus to the plant, though it is uncertain whether this qualifies as carnivory under scientific guidelines.
In one study, British researchers grew teasel plants and placed maggots into the leaf cup, then measured the effect of this extra nourishment on seed set and biomass. Because this is what researchers do.
As we clipped and bagged the teasel and thistle flowers, we encountered numerous pollinators and a goodly number of native plants in their midst. Getting rid of the invasive ones will help these natives hold and expand their ground and benefit native wildlife as well.