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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Bidens cernua L.)


ASTER FAMILY (Compositae or Asteraceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: An annual herb growing to 1-10 dm. in height Leaves are opposite, simple, sessile, and serrate to somewhat serrate. Flower heads are erect, but then become nodding with age. The flower disc is 12-25 mm. wide. Rays, if present, are yellow and up to 1.5 cm. long. Nutlets are smooth, curved, 5-8 mm. long and have 4 (rarely 2) barbed awns (Figure 38). In flower from August to October.

Nutlets of some common Bidens
Figure 38 - Nutlets of Some Common Bidens

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Beggarticks are found in fresh (wet) meadows, shallow marshes, along shores, and in areas of disturbed, wet soils.

Another name for beggarticks is stick-tights. Walking through a stand of these plants in late summer or autumn results in numerous barbed nutlets adhering to clothing.

SOURCE: Fernald (1970); and Gleason and Cronquist (1991).

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