Bidens laevis (L.) Britton Sterns & Poggenb.
Bidens elegans Greene
Bidens nashii Small
Helianthus laevis L.
Bur-marigolds, sticktights, smooth beggartick, smooth bidens, smooth bur marigold, larger bur marigold
Bur-marigolds are North American natives. They are found in saturated or flooded soils.
Plants: 24-36" (60-91 cm) high, rarely up to 6' (1.8 m). Plants and flowers tend to look disheveled.
Flowers: Yellow flowers are 1½-2½" (3.8-6.3 cm) around, with 8 petals. Each is a composite flower. They bloom from July to October.
Fruits: Seeds have barbed tips, which hitchhike on passers-by to find new locations.
These are similar:
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|Plant||Up to 13' (4 m) high, usually less than 3' (91 cm)||12-36" (30-91 cm) high, rarely up to 6' (1.8 m). Stems are square in cross-section, nearly hairless, and light green, reddish green, or purple||24-36" (60-91 cm) high, rarely up to 6' (1.8 m). Plants and flowers tend to look disheveled.|
|Flowers||Composite flowers are 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) across, have up to 8 petals, though rarely the ray flowers are missing and only the tubular disk flowers are present. The flowers are sideways-facing, rather than upward-facing||Each composite flower is composed of 20-60 orange-yellow disc florets about ⅜-½" (9.5-12 mm) around, and rarely a few yellow rays, each ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-3.5 mm) long. They are encompassed in 6-10 phyllaries, like a rosette of small leaves. Flowers occur in groups of 1-12, appearing from late summer to early fall.||Yellow flowers are 1½-2½" (3.8-6.3 cm) around, with 8 petals. Each is a composite flower. They bloom from July to October.|
|Leaves||Opposite, and sessile or clasping—leaf bases wrap around the stem. Leaves are 1½-8" (4-20 cm) long × up to 1" (2.5 cm) wide, and simple (unlobed)||Lower leaves are odd pinnate clusters on long petioles, in opposite pairs; upper leaves may be alternate. Leaves are up to 3" (7.6 cm) × 1" (2.5 cm), coarsely toothed, deltate or lanceolate.||1½-8" (3.8-20 cm) long, narrow, with coarse (dentate or serrate) teeth. They vary in shape from obovate or elliptic to lanceolate or linear|
|Fruit||Fruits are brown, hard, and triangular in shape, with four barbed spears of roughly equal length called awns||The seeds or achenes are shaped like a narrow triangle, with two barbed fork tips that attach to fur or clothes. The seeds are also distributed by the wind.||Seeds have barbed tips, which hitchhike on passers-by to find new locations.|
|Habitats||Near shorelines and the edges of wetlands, in sandy or mucky soil||Moist woods, meadows, thickets, fields, roadsides, railroads, borders of streams, ponds, sloughs, swamps, ditches||Saturated or flooded soils|
Bidens laevis on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource
Bidens laevis on www.jeffpippen.com
Bidens laevis at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Bidens laevis on Hortipedia
Bidens laevis on CalPhotos
Bidens laevis at the Clemson Cooperative Extension
Bidens laevis on eFloras
Bidens laevis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 17 Sep 2020.