About 200 species of Bidens
are native to North America and South America, mostly in the warmer areas. This species
is native to the eastern and southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America. The daisy “flower” is actually made up
of many individual flowers. Each “petal” is actually a single flower that has
no reproductive parts. The yellow disk in the center contains the flowers that
can produce seeds. Each flower of beggar tick produces a single dry fruit with
two hooks on one end. These hooks catch onto clothing and fur so they can be
spread to new sites. A few medicinal uses have been recorded for various plants
in the genus Bidens but this species
is reported to contain some dangerous toxins.
Light: sun to part shade
Water: well-drained soil, moderately drought tolerant
Soil: adaptable to soil types, no special requirements
In northeast Florida, this native plant is commonly viewed as a weed because the seeds stick to clothing so readily. It may not suit the formal garden but it is appropriate for a naturalistic garden. The white daisies are attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. It is a perennial most winters but is killed by temperatures in the high teens F.