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Close up of stem and seed heads

Close up of leaves

Bidens comosa
Common Name of Genus:
Family: Compositae

Description:  This is an annual plant which can be seen growing between the months of August and October.
The leaves are opposite each other and have serrated edges.
The flowers have yellow colored rays, which are about 1.5 cm long. The petals can be slightly serrated. Flowers between August and October.
Seeds are about 5-8 mm long and have three barbed awns at the end. This allows them to attach to animal fur and human clothing.
Stem: Smooth with a reddish color.
Branching Pattern:
Height: 1-4 feet tall
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Found in areas with moist soil, such as wet meadows, marshes and along shores. It can tolerate soil with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0. It it also partially shade tolerant.
Known Wildlife Interactions: The seed are dispersed by attaching to animal fur or people's clothing and then falling off some distance from the parent plant. The seeds are also eaten by birds, including ducks. While, the plant is eaten by muskrats.
Range:  North Dakota to Maine and South
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Not threatened in US or globally.
Uses (Human): None


Moran, Mark. Study of North Virginia Ecology: Beggar-tick. Fairfax County Public Schools. Accessed: February 28, 2006. <

Wetland Plants ad Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin: Beggartick. USGS. Accessed: February 28, 2006 <

Peterson, Roger T., MicKenny, Margaret. Wildflowers: Northeast/ North-Central Amercia. Peterson Field Guides.1996. pg 168

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <>

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species <>

This page was created by: A Coiro, Muhlenberg College
Photos by: L. Rosenberg, edited by N. Smith
Last updated 04/24/06