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Tickseed Sunflower Bidens aristosa


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Tickseed Sunflower
credit: Robert H. Mohlenbrock

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Alternate name: Bearded Beggarticks

Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Slender, leafy, much-branched stems bearing several yellow, daisy-like flower heads.
Habit: native annual or perennial herb; erect stems, smooth or slightly hairy, sometimes red-green; taprooted; may from large stands.
Height: 0.5-6 ft (0.15-1.5 m)
Leaf: opposite, long-stalked, pinnately divided or lobed into 3, 5, or 7 lobes or leaflets, themselves coarsely toothed or lobed, usually hairy beneath; to 8 in (20 cm) long, to 4 in (10 cm) wide.
Flower: daisy-like, yellow, slightly fragrant, to 2 in (5 cm) wide; 5-10+ wide oval rays, .4-1 in (10-25 mm) long; yellow-orange disk; with 8-12 outer bracts subtending each head.
Fruit: flat dry seed, fringed, black or yellow-black, to 1/4 in (6 mm) long; tipped with 2 tiny barbs.

Flower August to October.

Habitat Wet meadows, wet prairies, marshes, roadside ditches, cultivated fields, fallow fields, pine forests, disturbed sites, low ground; to 1000 ft (300 m).

Range Thought to be Native to the Midwest, now naturalized to from Ontario and New England, south to Georgia, west to Texas, north to Colorado, Nebraska and Minnesota; not reported in Vermont.

Discussion Also known as Midwestern Tickseed-sunflower, Bur marigold, Tick seed, bearded beggarticks, long-bracted beggar-ticks, Long-Bracted Tickseed Sunflower. Considered weedy or invasive in some areas. The prickly fruit of Bidens species are known as beggars'-ticks, the very common, 2-pronged "stickers" that cling to one's clothing during autumn walks. They can be removed easily with the flat edge of a knife blade.