Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Bidens bigelovii, Bigelow's Beggarticks

Bigelow's Beggarticks has small white and orange flowers, some without ray florets or 1 to 5 as in the photo. This species blooms from July to October across its geographic range. Bidens bigelovii Bigelow's Beggarticks; fruits have a reddish-brown linear or fusiform achene armed with 2 barbed awns on the tips; barbs readily stick to humans and animals as well and thus disperse seeds and future plants. Bidens bigelovii Bigelow's Beggarticks leaves are light green, opposite on stems. The leaves are rounded deltate overall with variable lobes ranging from lance-rhombic or ovate to lanceolate. Leaves are smooth above. Bidens bigelovii Bigelow's Beggarticks grows to about 2 and a half tall. It is found in elevations ranging from 3,000 to 6,500 feet and along streams, moist areas, mountain areas and hillsides. Bidens bigelovii

Scientific Name: Bidens bigelovii
Common Name: Bigelow's Beggarticks
Also Called: Bigelow Beggarticks, Stickseed (Spanish: Saitilla)
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Bidens amphicarpa, Bidens duranginensis)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 2.5 feet or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb erect; stems green; slender and minutely hairy.
Leaves: Light green; opposite on petioles; rounded deltate overall; pinnatisect, ultimate lobes lance-rhombic or ovate to lanceolate; glabrous above.
Flower Color: White and orange daisy-like flowers; usually solitary, sometimes in open corymbiform arrays; radiate or discoid floral heads; ray florets absent or 1 to 5; disk florets 13 to 25; phyllaries lanceolate; fruit a linear-fusiform achene, reddish-brown with retrorsely barbed, erect, pappi.;
Flowering Season: July to October
Elevation: 3,000 to 6,500 feet

Habitat Preferences: Along streams, moist areas, mountain areas and hillsides.

Recorded Range: Bigelow’s Beggarticks can be found in the southwestern United States in AZ, NM and TX and in CO and OK. It is also found in northwest Mexico. In Arizona it is recorded in southern and eastern (Gila County).

North America & US County Distribution Map for Bidens bigelovii.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.

Wetland Indicator: In North America Bidens bigelovii has the following wetland designations: Arid West, FACW; Great Plains, FACW; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FACW.
FACW = Facultative Wetland, usually occur in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands.

Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 50 species and x accepted taxa overall for Bidens. World wide, The Plant List includes 249 accepted species names and includes a further 595 of infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico and Texas each have 12 species of Bidens, California has 7 species, Nevada and Utah each have 4 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Bidens bigelovii has 2 varieties:
Bidens bigelovii var. angustiloba, found throughout its range above,
Bidens bigelovii var. bigelovii, found only in Arizona.

Comments: Plants in the genus Bidens are collectively called "Beggarticks" or "Spanish-Needles" because they usually have very sharp pointed barbs or hooked burrs that readily stick to animal fur and clothing, a seed dispersal strategy for many species. The Latin name Bidens is loosely translated to "two-teeth" referring to sharp barbs and hooks on the seed awns.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see Fewflower Beggarticks, Bidens leptocephala.

The genus Bidens is derived from the Latin root "bis" meaning twice or two and "dens" meaning tooth; thus 2 toothed, perhaps a reference to the double barbs on the fruits.

The specific epithet bigelovii is named in honor of Dr. John Milton Bigelow, (1804-1878), American physician and botanist, born in VT. Best known for his work on grasses and flowering plants of Ohio and for his work identifying and classifying plants of the southwestern United States.

Genus common names; The common names include; Beggarticks, Black Jack, Burr Marigolds, Cobbler's Pegs, Spanish Needles, Stickseeds, Tickseeds and Tickseed Sunflowers, all references to the barbed awns or pappi on the fruit.

Date Profile Completed: 9/25/2012; Updated, 07/25/2015, updated format 09/11/2017, updated format 10/10/2017
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 09/09/2017)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/09/2017).
John L. Strother, Ronald R. Weedon, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | 6. Bidens bigelovii A. Gray in W. H. Emory, Rep. U.S. Mex. Bound. 2(1): 91. 1859. Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
S. Buckley 2010, A. Hazelton 2015; FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973 Field Guide;
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet (accessed 09/09/2017). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
Rod Bigelow, Director; Bigelow Society, Inc.; (accessed 09/10/2017)
Bigelow, John Milton (1804-1878); JSTOR, Global Plants (accessed 09/10/2017).
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information, (accessed 09/09/2017).