Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Bidens aurea, Apache Beggarticks

Apache Beggarticks has pretty yellow flowers, some white; note flowers have both ray and disk florets. Bidens aurea Apache Beggarticks or Arizona Beggarticks as it is also known blooms from July or August through September or October. Bidens aurea has been introduced in Europe and South America where it has become naturalized. Bidens aurea Apache Beggarticks grows to about 1 or 1 and a ½ inches (100 cm) tall. Plants grow erect with slim branches. Plants are most smooth or hairless although some young plants may hair a little pubescence. Bidens aurea Apache Beggarticks has leaves with stems or petioles and the leaf blades are variable from deltate or lanceolate or oblong, sometimes pinnately lobed; the margins entire or sharply serrate. Bidens aurea

Scientific Name: Bidens aurea
Common Name: Apache Beggarticks

Also Called: Arizona Beggarticks

Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family

Synonyms: (Bidens aurea var. wrightii, Bidens ferulaefolia, Bidens ferulifolia, Bidens heterophylla, Bidens heterophylla var. wrightii, Bidens tetragona, Coreopsis aurea, Coreopsis ferulifolia)

Status: Native, Bidens aurea has been introduced in Europe and South America where it has become naturalized.

Duration: Perennial

Size: 4 to 19 to 40 inches (50-100 cm), rarely 100 inches (250 cm).

Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems erect, 4-angled, slim branches, plants glabrous young plants rarely pubescent.

Leaves: Green; leaves with stems (petiole), leaf blades deltate or lanceolate or oblong, sometimes pinnately lobed, margins entire or sharply serrate.

Flower Color: Yellow, some white; flowers with both ray (5 or 6) and disk (12 to 20) flowers (radiate); flowering stems or inflorescence a flat-topped panicle; fruit dark brown to blackish cypsela (mistakenly referred to as an achene) with barbed awns.

Flowering Season: July or August through September or October.

Elevation: 3,000 to 6,000 feet (900-1,800 m)

Habitat Preferences: Moist sandy soil along streams, marshes, seeps and springs.

Recorded Range: Apache Beggarticks is relatively rare in the United States where it is found primarily in southern Arizona and Apache County Arizona; it is also native to Mexico southward to Guatemala. Bidens aurea has been introduced in Europe and South America where it has become naturalized in France and Italy.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Bidens aurea.

North America species range map for Bidens aurea:
North American range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation

North America species range map for Bidens aurea: Click image for full size map
Click image for full size map

U.S. Weed Information: Unknown
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: Unknown
Threatened/Endangered Information: Unknown

Wetland Indicator: In North America Bidens aurea has the following wetland designations:
Arid West, OBL;
Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, OBL.
OBL = Obligate Wetland, almost always occur in wetlands

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

The genus Bidens was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.

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

Comments: Apache Beggarticks is a handsome wildflower in Arizona and is easy to grow in full sun in well-drained soils. Interestingly, Apache Beggarticks, which is called Arizona Beggarticks in the United Kingdom, is a popular garden species with both plants and seeds sold on-line.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see Bigelow's Beggarticks, Bidens bigelovii Fewflower Beggarticks, Bidens leptocephala and Smooth Beggartick, Bidens laevis.

Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Seeds of Bidens aurea may likely be eaten by birds and small mammals.

Special Value to Native Bees, Butterflies and Insects
Daisy type flowers such as Apache Beggarticks often attract a myriad of insects.

The genus Bidens is derived from the Latin bis, "twice", and dens, "tooth", together meaning "2-toothed" a reference to the bristles on the achene (cypsela) fruits.

The genus Bidens was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.

The species epithet "aurea" translated directly means "golden" a reference to the color of the flowers or phyllaries?

Bidens 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: 01/31/2020; updated 05/27/2020
Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, Arizona Flora, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 01/30/2020)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 01/30/2020).
John L. Strother, Ronald R. Weedon,FNA | Family List | Asteraceae |Bidens; 12. Bidens aurea (Aiton) Sherff, Bot. Gaz. 59: 313. 1915. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
'Bidens aurea', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 December 2018, 20:09 UTC, [accessed 30 January 2020]
FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearny and Peebles 1979; Editors; S.Buckley 2010, A.Hazelton 2015 from SEINet Field Guide, on-line; (accessed 05/27/2020).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet (accessed 01/30/2020). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information.
ETYMOLOGY: Michael L. Charters; California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology; (accessed 01/30/2020)