Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Spanish-needles - Bidens bipinnata   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Bidens with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionThroughout the state; scarce on the Outer Banks.

MA to southern Ont., NE, and AZ, south to Mexico.
AbundanceCommon to very common over the state, except uncommon to infrequent along the Outer Banks and nearby mainland areas.
HabitatA wide variety of disturbed places, such as roadsides, fields, powerline clearings, croplands, yards, waste lots, and openings in floodplains.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationSpanish-needles is readily identified by its black, elongate, pronged fruits, 7-15 mm long. As in other beggarticks (Bidens spp.) the fruits are awned, in this case with 3-4 awns (vs. 2 in most of our species). Also unusual are the short (or absent) ray florets (vs. prominent in most our species). Thus, the flowers may appear to lack rays. Most people are familiar with this weedy species by getting the numerous "barbs" stuck into their pants when brushing up against the plants.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)The common name is often if not usually written as Spanish Needles, without the hyphen.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFAC link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieSame data. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieRoadside at pecan orchard, Southern Pines, Sept 2009. MoorePhoto_natural
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