Flower of the Day: Common Beggar-Ticks

aka devil’s beggar-ticks; Bidens frondosa; Asteraceae (aster family)

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At this time of year the asters are just about the only things blooming in the Potomac gorge.  This one is comprised entirely of disk flowers; the rays absent. The green parts surrounding the flower head are bracts.  20140908-DSC_0042

According to the USDA, there are 26 species (one of them alien) of Bidens found in North America.  Another one is Spanish needles, fotd 9/12.  This one is probably the most widespread of them.  It prefers moist soils and full sunlight but can tolerate some dry and shade; it’s prone to becoming a nuisance plant. While looking into the origin of the common name I tripped across a New Zealand website that featured it as Weed of the Month.

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The common name comes from the fact that the seeds hitch a ride on the fur (or clothing) of passing animals.

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