Bidens tripartita L.

three-lobed beggar-ticks

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Three-lobed beggar-ticks is widely distributed across Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America, and introduced in the Pacific Islands and Australia. It is closely related to, and easily confused with purple-stemmed beggar-ticks (Bidens connata). Little used in medicine in the present, it was formerly considered an important remedy for conditions of bleeding or haemorrhage, kidney problems and ulcers. The young leaves are edible when cooked.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), shores of rivers or lakes, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
  • the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
  • the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
  • NA
  • orange
  • yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
40–150 mm
Flower head width
16–28 mm
Disk flower number
  • 1-5
  • 11-20
  • 21-50
  • 6-10
  • more than 50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract cycle number
    there are two main cycles of bracts
    Bract margins
    • there are few or no fine hairs along the bract margins
    • there are fine hairs along the bract margins
    Bract shape
    • the main bracts are elliptic (widest near the middle and tapered towards the base and tip)
    • the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    • the main bracts are ovate (egg-shaped)
    Bracts
    there are at least two distinct forms of bracts in different cycles
    Disk flower color
    • orange
    • yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    • 4
    • 5
    Disk flower number
    • 1-5
    • 11-20
    • 21-50
    • 6-10
    • more than 50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower is abruptly widened at some point below the lobes
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has only one to three flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    • at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    • at the outer edge of the flower head, the flowers have no enlarged lobe or strap, and are of similar size as those in the center of the disk
    Flower head platform
    the base has papery scales on it
    Flower head shape
    the flower head is hemispherical (like the bottom half of a sphere)
    Flower head width
    16–28 mm
    Flower type in flower heads
    • the flower head has disk flowers only, and lacks the strap-shaped flowers
    • the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Height of flower head base
    4–12 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    6–13
    Ovary cross-section
    • the ovary is compressed (flattened)
    • the ovary is roughly square or with four corners
    Ovary hair type
    • the ovary has hairs on it, but the hairs have no glands
    • the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    • the ovary has hairs on it
    • the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is lanceolate (widest below the middle, tapering to both ends)
    Ovary surface
    • the ovary surface has no points, bumps or wrinkles, though it may have lines, ribs or wings
    • the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Peduncle length
    10–80 mm
    Peduncle orientation
    the flower heads are held upright, or slightly angled outwards
    Ray flower color
    • NA
    • orange
    • yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    • NA
    • the ray flowers have carpels or stamens, but not both
    Ray flowers
    • 0
    • 1-5
    Ray length
    0–8 mm
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is a cycle of much smaller bracts outside the cycle of larger and longer bracts
    Width of flower head base
    3–15 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    • 0
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    3–11 mm
    Ovary width in developed fruit
    2–3 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    0–6 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    NA
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    • the pappus is made of stiff, tapering bristles
    • there is no pappus on the ovary
    Top of disk flower ovary
    the top of the ovary in fruit is flattened
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have no glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is annual, it lacks evidence of previous years' growth
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    there is a thickened taproot on the plant
  • Leaves
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    • the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade bloom
    • the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    • there is a noticeable powdery or waxy bloom on the underside of the leaf
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade length
    40–150 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade tip
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    15–60 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    • the leaves have leaf stalks
    • the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf stalk length
    0–35 mm
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    Teeth per side of leaf blade
    At least 0
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • edges of wetlands
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    NA
    Stem internode hair length
    0 mm
    Stem internode hair type
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Stem wings
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Bidens connata:
disk flowers with a tubular corolla that is abruptly expanded toward apex, with apical lobes strongly pigmented with yellow to yellow-orange, and shorter than the stamens (vs. B. tripartita, with disk flowers with a tubular corolla that is slightly expanded toward apex, with apical lobes that are weakly pigmented with yellow, and longer than stamens).

Synonyms

  • Bidens comosa (Gray) Wieg.
  • Bidens heterodoxa (Fern.) Fern. & St. John var. agnostica Fern.

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Bidens

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Our subspecies is Bidens tripartita L. ssp. comosa (Gray) A. Haines.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

16.  Bidens tripartita L. ssp. comosa (Gray) A. Haines N

three-lobed beggar-ticks. Bidens comosa (Gray) Wieg.; Bidens heterodoxa (Fern.) Fern. & St. John var. agnostica Fern. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Shorelines, margins of wetlands, wet depressions and ditches. This species is often confused with Bidens connata in regional herbaria. In addition to characters used in the key, B. tripartita differs from B. connata 
 in its smooth cypsela bodies that lack tubercles (vs. usually with tubercles). See B. eatonii 
 for comments concerning B. heterodoxa. North American populations of B. tripartita 
 are distinct from European ones. Those from North America have sparser and weaker cilia 
on the margins of the foliaceous involucral bracts (cilia 0.1–0.4 mm long, numbering 
0–2 (–3) per mm, the bases not confluent to form a continuous cartiladgenous band vs. 
cilia 0.1–0.8 mm long (the longer usually exceeding 0.3 mm, numbering 1–5 per mm, the bases often confluent to form a continuous cartiladgenous band).