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 (76 cm) or more.

Growth Form: Forb/herb erect; stems green; slender and minutely hairy.

Leaves: Light green; opposite on stems; 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 flower heads; ray florets absent or 1 to 5; disk florets 13 to 25; phyllaries lanceolate; fruit a linear-fusiform cypsela (often mistaken for an achene), reddish-brown with retrorsely barbed, erect, pappi.

Flowering Season: July to September or October

Elevation: 3,000 to 6,500 feet (900-1,980 m)

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.

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

North America species range map for Bidens bigelovii: 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 bigelovii has the following wetland designations:
Arid West, FACW;
Great Plains and the Western Mountains,FACW;
Valleys, and Coast; FACW.
FACW = Usually occur in wetlands, but may occur in non-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.

Bidens bigelovii has 2 varieties:
Bidens bigelovii var. angustiloba, (AZ);
Bidens bigelovii var. bigelovii, (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX).

Comments: Bigelow's Beggarticks is named in honor of Dr. John Milton Bigelow an American physician and botanist (1804-1878); Dr. Bigelovii was a professor of botany at Detroit Medical College, who collected in the West under Whipple in the Pacific Railroad Survey of 1853-1854. In addition, he worked with 3 top American botanists of the day, John Torrey, Asa Gray, and George Engelmann; and had a significant collection of California plants that yielded many new species.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see Apache Beggarticks, Bidens aurea, Fewflower Beggarticks, Bidens leptocephala and Smooth Beggartick, Bidens laevis.

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

Special Value to Native Bees, Butterflies and Insects
Daisy type flowers such as Bigelow's 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 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 specific epithet bigelovii (bigelo'vii:) is named in honor of Dr. John Milton Bigelow (1804-1878).

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: 9/25/2012; Updated, 02/27/2020
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 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 | 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.
FNA 2006, Martin and Hutchins 1980, S. Buckley 2010, A. Hazelton 2015;; from SEINet plant page for Bidens bigelovii (accessed 02/02/2020).
Virginia Tech Dendrology; Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet (accessed 02/02/2020). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
Wikipedia contributors, 'John Milton Bigelow', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 April 2020, 19:50 UTC, [accessed 27 May 2020]
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)