Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bearded Beggarticks - Bidens aristosa   (Michaux) Britton
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Michaux) Britton
DistributionEssentially throughout the state, but apparently sparse in the Mountains and in the northeastern counties. Some authors treat it as adventive east of the Appalachians, and it certainly acts like an aggressive colonizer. Treated on this website and by Weakley (2018) as native, with the caveat that its former and primary range was the Midwest -- as with Coyote, Brown-headed Cowbird, and some others, has spread eastward on its own with forest clearing, roadside maintenance, and perhaps by natural factors.

DE to MO, south to FL and TX.
AbundanceCommon to abundant in most of the Piedmont and parts of the Coastal Plain. Uncommon to infrequent in the Mountains and parts of the eastern and central Coastal Plain. Has greatly increased in the state in recent decades.
HabitatWet to moist roadside ditches, meadows (preferably moist), powerline clearings and other clearings, freshwater marshes. In the Midwest it is a prairie plant.
See also Habitat Account for General Wet Meadows
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationPlants are annual or biennial, multi-branched, mostly 2-4 feet tall, but occasionally over 6 feet tall; it has numerous heads of long yellow rays and yellow-orange central disks. The leaves are dissected in a pinnate fashion into 3-7 lobes. The plants often form dense colonies, temporarily excluding other species. B. mitis differs in its shorter seeds (2.5-5 mm long vs. 5-8 mm long) that lack marginal barbs or hairs (vs. usually barbed or hairy).
Taxonomic CommentsA synonym is B. polylepis. The two have sometimes been treated as full species -- e.g., FNA and RAB (1968) -- but are difficult to tell apart with clarity. Weakley (2018) includes that taxon with B. aristosa.

Other Common Name(s)Western Tickseed, Tickseed Beggarticks, Tickseed Sunflower. The name Ditch Daisy is catching on in recent years.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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