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