Scientific Name: Bidens frondosa

Common Name: devil's beggartick

Synonyms: Bidens frondosa var. anomala, Bidens frondosa var. caudata, Bidens frondosa var. pallida, Bidens frondosa var. stenodonta

Habit: Forb/herb

Leaves: Leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem and occur on petioles. Leaves are divided into 3 to 5 leaflets that are lanceolate in outline and have toothed margins. Leaflets may have a few short hairs.

Identifying Characteristics: A summer annual that may reach as much as 3 1/2 feet in height. Devils beggarticks has prickly fruit that facilitate seed dispersal by sticking to the fur and clothing of any animal or human that brushes by this weed when mature. Devils beggarticks is primarily a weed of pastures, hay fields, roadsides, landscapes, and nurseries. Leaves that are divided into 3 to 5 leaflets that are lanceolate and have toothed margins and the distinctive 'barbed' fruit. Devils beggarticks is similar in appearance to Coreopsis Beggarticks (Bidens polylepis) and Spanishneedles (<a href='../../weedimg/103'>Bidens bipinnata</a>). Both of these weeds, however, have leaves that are dissected into more leaflets than those of devils beggarticks. Additionally, coreopsis beggarticks has flowers that are much larger and more showy than either devils beggarticks or Spanishneedles.

Flower Seed Head: Consist of inner disk flowers that are brownish in color and outer ray flowers that are yellow to orange in color. Flowers are 1 inch in width and are fairly inconspicuous.

Seed Fruit: Cotyledons areoblong in outline (up to 25 mm long) and appear to be on petioles. The first true leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem. Subsequent leaves are divided into at least 3 leaflets. An achene that ranges from 6 to 12 mm in length and is brown in color. Achenes have 2 distinctive spines with 'barbs' that help the fruit to stick to whatever they come into contact with

Where Found: It is found throughout the United States.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Fabaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: lance

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated

  • Stem hairs: has hairs; no hairs

  • Flower color: yellow; orange

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple; pinnate

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower diameter: nickle; dime

  • Flower symmetry: not symmetrical

  • Root structure: fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; longer than leaf