Several Bidens bloom in late summer but Tickseed Sunflower is one of
the showiest. Seeds of all Bidens have 2 or 4 sharp spines, and "sticktights" refers to how the seeds are easily embedded into socks, other clothes and animal fur.
Origin of the name: Bidens, L., two teeth; coronatus:
Range: MA , s. Ont., e. MN, s to NE, NC
WI Range: Statewide
Common associates: Joe-pye weed, Rice cut grass, Blue joint
Wetland Indicator Status: OBL
Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 9 (S&W), C = 7 (MI)
Tickseed sunflower is a native
annual and grows to 1 m tall in marshes, sedge meadows and peatlands. Leaves are opposite, deeply lobed and sharply toothed with a prominent mid-vein.
Flower heads are 4 to 5 cm across with about 8 well
developed yellow rays. Seeds are dark, nearly flat, at least 3 times longer than wide and with 2 spines. They bloom from early August until early October.
The showier Bidens are similar to the true
sunflowers (Helianthus), but Bidens have two different rows of bracts (phyllaries) underneath the flower head -- the outer set is green, and the inner set is membranous. True sunflowers have more than 2 rows of
bracts and all are the same leafy green.