Bidens frondosa
Family Asteraceae

* Leaves compound, stalked, dividing into 3-5 leaflets.
* Leaflets lance-shaped, toothed.
* Flower head dull, yellowish. Leafy bracts support flower head.
* Fruit flat and barbed, with two prongs extending from one end.
* Height: 1-4'.

Natural History:
* Flowers August - October.
* Habitat: Damp meadows, waste places.
* Range: Throughout the northeastern United States.
* Native.

* Some of the more colorful names that Massachusetts residents have given Beggar-Ticks include Old Ladies' Clothespins, Devil's Pitchfork, and Common Bur-Marigold. All of these names refer to the two-pronged, barbed fruit, which has a tendency to attach to passers-by.

* But the barbed fruit doesn't exist just to be called funny names; it is actually an evolutionary development that helps the plant seeds spread and grow. An "Old Ladies' Clothespin" attaching to the coat of a passing raccoon or dog will be carried far from its parent plant and begin to grow somewhere else. If no animals are around, the fruit's flat shape allows it to be carried by the wind, and the barbs and prongs help it to establish itself in new ground without being blown away.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008