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  Bidens pilosa L.
  Family Name : Asteraceae (Compositae)

  Synonyms : Bidens sundaica var. minor, Bidens pilosa var. bimucronata, Bidens pilosa var. minor

  Common Names : Beggar's Tick, Begger's Tick, Hairy Beggarticks, Spanish Needles, Black Jack, Bur Marigold, Pitchforks, Stick Tight

  Chinese Name : 小白花鬼针, 鬼针草

Beggar's Tick,Begger's Tick,Hairy Beggarticks,Spanish Needles,Black Jack,Bur Marigold,Pitchforks,Stick Tight
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub (Herbaceous)
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Perennial, Annual
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      0.3 m to 1 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Mexico, Central Americas, Caribbean, Tropical & Sub-tropical South America
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Herbaceous, upright branched shrub with annual or annual-like behaviour, up to 1m tall.
      Foliage: Leaves trifolately-compound, with serrate margins and velvety texture; terminal leaflet may be asymmetrically-lobed.
      Stems: Squarish in cross-section.
      Flowers: Produced as inflorescence heads at top of branched stalks. 2 types of inflorescences: Radiate heads 2cm across with central yellow disc florets and 4-7 white ray florets ("petals") 2-8mm long; and Discoid florets which consist only of disc florets with no ray florets. Source of nectar for butterflies.
      Fruits: Bristly, achenes (one-seeded fruits) with mainly 3 awns (barbed hooks) at tip, black when mature, sticking onto fur or feathers and dispersed by browsing fauna.
      Habitat :
      Resident of infertile open wastelands and disturbed areas in native regions. Widely naturalized throughout world as pantropical and crop weed. Recorded as fairly common in hilly areas of Peninsular Malaysia, and occasionally seen in Singapore.
      Similar :
      Resembles Bidens alba, which has similarly white ray florets. But latter species is slightly taller (0.4-1.2 m height) and differentiated by longer ray florets (6-16 mm), absence of discoid florets, and chiefly 2-hooked awns at tips of achenes.
      Cultivation :
      Drought-tolerant plant. Propagate by seeds. Handle with caution - some individuals may be sensitive to phyto-toxic compounds in plant, which upon contact with skin, may cause irritation if exposed to sunlight.
      Etymology :
      Genus epithet 'Bidens' (BY-dens) means 'twice' (bi) and 'toothed' (dens), a reference to the 2 bristles on the tip of the achene-seed of some members of this genus. Species epithet 'pilosa' means 'hairy', describing the velvety foliage.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Flowers; Edible Stems; Edible Leaves)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable; Herb & Spice)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Flowers; Edible Stems; Edible Leaves), Medicinal
      [Others]: Food: Plant is a good source of iodine, and has peppery or spicy taste. Tender leaves cooked as vegetable by poor people. Leaves added raw to salads or steamed in soups and stews. Young shoot tips brewed as tea. Flowers served with rice dishes. Medicinal: Plant has anti-inflammatory, bactericidal and fungicidal properties. Juice of plants applied to minor fresh wounds & ulcers, or used to treat thrush and rheumatism. Also used in enemas for intestinal ailments.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Dry Soils / Drought, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Parks & Gardens, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Naturalistic Garden, Wildflower Garden, Butterfly Garden
      Usage Hazards / Cons :
      Irritant - Sap, [Remarks] (Parts of plant (esp. leaves, flowers, roots) are phyto-toxic. When sun-exposed skin is in contact with plant, may result in skin burning, irritation, swelling, pigmentation or lesions in sensitive individuals.)
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Butterfly Food Plant, Bee-Attracting
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth))
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Associated with: Barbed burr (seeds) stick to animal fur or feathers.)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
      Foliar Type :
      Compound (Trifoliate)
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Serrate / Toothed
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Foliar Base :
      Rounded / Obtuse
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
  • Non-Foliar & Storage
    • Stem Type & Modification :
      Root Type :
      Underground (Fibrous Root)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      White, Yellow / Golden
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Inflorescence Type :
      Head / Capitulum
      Flowering Period :
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Indehiscent Dry Fruit (Achene)
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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