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Bidens cernua

Common Name: Nodding Bur-Marigold
Family: Asteraceae

Entry Author:  J. Rogers and C. Westring
Description: An annual herb.  "Cernua" in Latin means "nodding".
Leaves:  Smooth, stalkless, lance-shaped leaves; margins are coarsely toothed; 3-16 cm long and 0.5-5 cm wide.
6-8 showy yellow rays 2.5 cm in length.  Each flower is 5 cm in diameter.  Flowers nod, or droop, increasingly with age. Center disk consists of darker yellow tubular structures.  Often fringed with hair.
Flat,  four pronged seeds (achenes) that are broadest at top tapering to a narrow base.
Stem: Erect or sometimes growing along the ground and rooting at the nodes; smooth or hairy; often branched
Branching Pattern:
Height: 30-90 cm
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Sedge meadows, sandy or muddy shores, marshes, stream banks, and other wet places.
Range: Most of U.S. except parts of the Southeast
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Invasive 
Uses (Human):  Used in meadow landscaping and wetlands restoration


Chadde, Steve W.  A Great Lakes Wetland Flora (2nd ed.)  Michigan: PocketFlora Press, 2002.

Peterson, Roger Tory, and Margaret McKenny.  Peterson Field Guides:  A field guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and Northcentral North America.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1968.

Rook, E.  Aquatic Plants of the North: Bidens cernua.   February 26, 2004.  Accessed: November 29, 2005.  <>

This page was created by: J. Chichester, Northampton Community College, and K. Rice and C. Westring, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 12/21/05