Crowned Beggarticks in the Ditch
Tickseed Sunflower or Crowned Beggarticks
Bidens coronata -or- B. trichosperma
I’ve been noticing some patches of lovely yellow flowers stretching tall out of roadside ditches while driving around our part of Eastern North Carolina lately. This morning I picked a stem to key out and identify (which I may share with my wife this evening).
Tickseed Sunflower is native to the eastern half of the US and Canada. It is in the same family (Asteraceae) as true sunflowers, but is in the Beggarticks genus (Bidens). Growing up to 4 feet tall and about half as wide, the bright yellow flowers are the diameter of a golf ball. This summer annual is a facultative wetland plant (it loves wetlands, but can live just fine in drier areas, too).
Beggarticks and the genus name refer to the catchy nature of the seeds – Bidens like two (bi-cycle) teeth (den-ture-s). The barbed structures on the seed catch on quite readily to animal fur and people’s clothes in order to rapidly spread this wildflower.
The crowned species is one of the more showy and attractive species of the genus, many others look similar to leggy, underdeveloped Marigolds with a clingy seed condition. So enjoy this one while it lasts through the end of September and into October.