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Beggars tick plant

Beggars tick plant

Beggars tick plant

The native Common Beggar-Ticks occurs in most counties of Illinois, and it is quite common; official records probably underestimate its distribution in some areas (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist areas of black soil prairies, moist meadows near woodlands or rivers, openings in floodplain woodlands and young flatwoods, thickets, marshes, swamps, seeps, borders of ponds or lakes, poorly drained areas along railroads and roadsides, both cultivated and abandoned fields, banks of drainage canals, and miscellaneous waste areas. This plant likes disturbed areas.This is one of the more common Bidens spp. The species in this genus can be divided into two groups: those with showy flowers and those with non-showy flowers. Common Beggar-Ticks is a member of the latter group. The non-showy Bidens spp. in Illinois can be distinguished from each other by considering two characteristics: 1) whether most of the leaves are simple or pinnately compound, and 2) the number of outer bracts surrounding the flowerheads. Common Beggar-Ticks has pinnately compound leaves and about 8 outer bracts surrounding its flowerheads. It is quite similar in appearance to Bidens vulgata (Tall Beggar-Ticks), except that this latter plant has about 13 outer bracts surrounding its flowerheads.

Tick

This is one of the more common Bidens spp. The species in this genus can be divided into two groups: those with showy flowers and those with non-showy flowers. Common Beggar-Ticks is a member of the latter group. The non-showy Bidens spp. in Illinois can be distinguished from each other by considering two characteristics: 1) whether most of the leaves are simple or pinnately compound, and 2) the number of outer bracts surrounding the flowerheads. Common Beggar-Ticks has pinnately compound leaves and about 8 outer bracts surrounding its flowerheads. It is quite similar in appearance to Bidens vulgata (Tall Beggar-Ticks), except that this latter plant has about 13 outer bracts surrounding its flowerheads.Late in the summer, several interesting species of wildflowers called “Beggar-Ticks” bloom along the edge of a stream near my home. All are members of the Aster family, whose flowers normally consist of both inner “disk” florets and outer “ray” florets. The beggar-ticks however, are somewhat unique in that some have ray florets, some have a variable number of stunted ray florets, and some have only disk florets!

Notes: Devil's Beggartick is indigenous to the Garden. Eloise Butler catalogued it on Sept. 6, 1907. This species is widespread in North America, being absent only in a few Northern Canadian Provinces and in Montana. Within Minnesota it has been found in the vast majority of counties throughout the state. There are eight species of Bidens found in Minnesota, all named with 'Beggar-ticks' as part of the common name. Four species are found in the Garden: B. cernua, Nodding Beggar-ticks (Bur Marigold); B. connata, Swamp Beggar-ticks; B. frondosa, Devil's Beggar-ticks; and B. tripartita, Three-lobe Beggar-ticks. The flattened, hairy pods stick to clothing and animal fur, hence the names “beggar’s lice” and “tick trefoil.” (“Trefoil” means “three-leaved.”) Some desmodiums are used in agriculture to repel insect pests, inhibit the growth of weeds, enrich the soil, and create fodder for livestock. (Source: mdc.mo.gov)

 

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