Bidens frondosa L.

Devil's beggar-ticks

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Infusions of devil's beggar-ticks are considered herbal remedies for irritation, inflammation, pain, and bleeding of the urinary tract, among other things. The achenes have two barbed awns that are effective at attaching to clothing or fur.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), shores of rivers or lakes, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf type
leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
  • the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
  • the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
  • NA
  • orange
  • yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
30–150 mm
Disk flower number
  • 11-20
  • 21-50
  • more than 50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    there are two main cycles of bracts
    Bract keels
    the bracts do not have keels
    Bract margins
    there are fine hairs along the bract margins
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract separation
    the bracts appear completely unconnected to one another on all flower heads
    Bract shape
    • the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    • the main bracts are oblong (roughly rectangular but rounded at the ends)
    • the main bracts are ovate (egg-shaped)
    Bract spines
    the bracts have no spines
    Bract texture
    • the bracts appear thin, flexible and nearly translucent
    • the bracts have a similar texture to a leaf
    Bract tip extension appearance
    NA
    Bract tip extension edge
    there are no projections from the bract tips
    Bracts
    there are at least two distinct forms of bracts in different cycles
    Disk flower color
    • orange
    • yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower number
    • 11-20
    • 21-50
    • more than 50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower is abruptly widened at some point below the lobes
    Disk width
    Up to 10 mm
    Flower head number
    • each flowering stem has four or more flower heads on it
    • each flowering stem has only one to three flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    • at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    • at the outer edge of the flower head, the flowers have no enlarged lobe or strap, and are of similar size as those in the center of the disk
    Flower head platform
    the base has papery scales on it
    Flower head platform surface
    the scales are smooth, no visible hairs
    Flower head position
    each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    Flower head profile
    the disk is flat or nearly flat across the top
    Flower head shape
    the flower head is hemispherical (like the bottom half of a sphere)
    Flower type in flower heads
    • the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
    • the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Height of flower head base
    6–9 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    6–12
    Ovary attachment
    the ovary is attached at or near the base
    Ovary beak
    there is no beak on the ovary
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary is compressed (flattened)
    Ovary hair type
    • the ovary has hairs on it, but the hairs have no glands
    • the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    • the ovary has hairs on it
    • the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary lines or ribs
    there are two lines or ribs visible on the ovary
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is roughly egg-shaped, but widest above the middle
    Ovary surface
    • the ovary surface has no points, bumps or wrinkles, though it may have lines, ribs or wings
    • the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Peduncle hair type
    the hairs on the peduncles are simple (not branched), don’t have glands, and are not woolly
    Peduncle hairs
    the peduncles are hairy
    Peduncle length
    10–80 mm
    Peduncle orientation
    the flower heads are held upright, or slightly angled outwards
    Ray flower color
    • NA
    • orange
    • yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    • NA
    • the ray flowers have carpels or stamens, but not both
    Ray flowers
    • 0
    • 1-5
    Ray length
    0–3.5 mm
    Rim at top of ovary
    the central flowers have no disk-shaped platform above the ovary
    Scale tip
    the scales are acute (sharply pointed) at the top
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is a cycle of much smaller bracts outside the cycle of larger and longer bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Width of flower head base
    7–12 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Dispersal unit
    the seeds fall off or are dispersed separately from one another
    Number of pappus parts
    2
    Ovary beak length
    0 mm
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    5–11.3 mm
    Ovary width in developed fruit
    2.5–4 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    2–5 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    NA
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of stiff, tapering bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    the top of the ovary in fruit is flattened
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have no glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Ovary glands
    there are no visible glands on the ovary
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is annual, it lacks evidence of previous years' growth
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
    • there is a thickened taproot on the plant
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    15–120 mm
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    5–30 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    • the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade flatness
    the leaf is flat (planar) at the edges
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has simple hairs with no glands, and not tangled or wooly
    Leaf blade length
    30–150 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    20–100 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk length
    10–60 mm
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf tufts in axils
    there are no clusters of smaller leaves
    Leaf type
    leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    3–5
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    • the leaf is compound, there are two or more discrete leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • edges of wetlands
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    NA
    Stem internode hair length
    0 mm
    Stem internode hair type
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem wings
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Bidens vulgata:
flower heads with 10-21 outer, leaf-like involucral bracts and disk flowers with a tubular corolla that is slightly expanded and weakly pigmented with yellow toward apex (vs. B. frondosa, with the flowers heads with 5-10 outer, leaf-like involucral bracts and disk flowers with a tubular corolla that is abruptly expanded and strongly pigmented with yellow to yellow-orange near apex).

Synonyms

  • Bidens frondosa var. anomala Porter ex Fern.
  • Bidens frondosa var. caudata Sherff
  • Bidens frondosa var. stenodonta Fern. & St. John

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Bidens

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