Bidens leptocephala, Fewflower Beggarticks
Scientific Name: Bidens leptocephala
Common Name: Fewflower Beggarticks
Also Called: Few-flower Beggarticks, Tickseed (Spanish: Saitilla)
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Bidens leptocephala var. hammerlyae, Bidens leptocephala var. leptocephala, Bidens leptocephala var. ulinei)
Size: Up to 1 foot or so.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect; stems green, slender.
Leaves: Light green; opposite; leaves with petioles, rounded-deltate overall, 1 to 2 pinnatisect, ultimate lobes ovate or lanceolate to linear.
Flower Color: Yellow; solitary heads on tips of long slender to filiform peduncles often in corymbiform arrays; calyculi of 3-6 linear bractlets, 1-3 mm long, with ciliate margins; involucre cylindric, 3 mm high and half as wide; the bracts or phyllaries green, oblong to lanceolate; ray flowers absent or 2 to 3; disk florets 5 to 13; corollas yellowish to whitish; fruit a reddish-brown a linear-fusiform achene linear with 2 retrorsely barbed awns or pappi on tips.
Flowering Season: August to October
Elevation: 3,000 to 6,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Fewflower Beggarticks prefers mid to higher elevations, usually along streams, moist areas, preferring shady sandy areas.
Recorded Range: In North America, Fewflower Beggarticks is found in AZ, NM and TX near the Rio Grande River. It is also found in Baja California and northwest Mexico. In Arizona, it is found in the central, southern and northeastern parts of the state.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Bidens leptocephala.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: In North America Bidens leptocephala has the following wetland designations: Arid West, FAC; Great Plains, FACW; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FAC.
FAC = Facultative, occur in wetlands and non-wetlands
FACW = Facultative Wetland, usually occur in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
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.
Comments: In Arizona, Fewflower Beggarticks has a narrow window of preferred habitat where it is usually associated with water or moist areas. Although it ranges well into central Arizona it is primarily a southern Arizona species with records extending into Mexico and throughout Baja California. It is well represented in New Mexico but barely reaches into Texas.
In Southwest Desert Flora also see Bigelow's Beggarticks, Bidens bigelovii.
The specific epithet "leptocephala" is derived from the Greek root "lepto" meaning slender or thin and the Latin root "cephala" meaning head.
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.