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Nodding Beggarticks

Bidens cernua L.

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


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Bidens cernua L., Nodding Beggarticks: (Bayer Code:  BIDCE; US Code BICE)

·         Native summer annual that grows 1-3 feet tall with rough-textured stem

·         Has opposite or whorled, lanceolate leaves with smooth or serrate margins

·         Flowers heads have yellow disk flowers, with 6-8 ray flowers (although ray flowers may sometimes be absent), and 40-100 yellow disk flowers; heads held upright when blooming, but nodding at maturity as seeds from

·         Seed is short and slenderly wedge-shaped, with two barbs attached to tip that let it attach to passing animals

·         Commonly found in rich, moist soils, disturbed sites, roadsides, not in cultivated fields

·         Some similar species:

       o   Devil’s Beggarticks (Bidens frondosa) has pinnately-compound leaves with toothed, lanceolate leaflets, flowers lack ray flowers and the burs are short and attached to a triangular seed

       o   Spanish Needles (Bidens bipinnata) has finely-divided (bipinnately compound) leaves, 1-5 very short (0.25 inch) ray flowers (petals) per head and long, slender, needle-like seeds with burs at their tip

       o   Tickseed Beggarticks (Bidens aristosa) has pinnately compound leaves with toothed, lanceolate leaflets (leaflets often more narrow than devils beggarticks) and 6-8 showy ray flowers (petals) per head and triangular, 2-burred seeds

       o   Swamp Beggarticks (Bidens tripartita) has simple lanceolate leaves with toothed margins, sometimes with 3 deep lobes; flowers lack ray flowers; it often grows in wet soils near ponds, lakes, rivers


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Posted 19 January 2019