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Useful Temperate Plants

Bidens frondosa

L.

Asteraceae

+ Synonyms

Bidens melanocarpa Wiegand

Common Name: Beggar Ticks

Bidens frondosa
Flowerhead
Photograph by: Jon Sullivan
Creative Commons License
Bidens frondosa Bidens frondosa Bidens frondosa Bidens frondosa Bidens frondosa Bidens frondosa Bidens frondosa

General Information

Bidens frondosa is an erect, annual plant usually growing 20 - 60cm tall, occasionally reaching 180cm[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
The plant is highly rated for its medicinal uses, being harvested from the wild and also sometimes cultivated. The plant is also sometimes grown as an ornamental[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Bidens frondosa has been introduced widely in Europe and to other parts of the world, mainly in temperate climates. Most introductions have been intentional, due to the plant's medicinal, herbal and decorative properties, though seeds can also be accidentally dispersed into new areas as they can adhere firmly to animal fibres such as wool. The plant has often escaped from cultivation - in Europe it has been reported to outcompete and interbreed with native plant species in particular those of the same genus; whilst in New Zealand it is classified as an environmental weed[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz P.A.
Publisher
University of California Press
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
,
235
Title
An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada
Publication
 
Author
Britton. N. L. Brown. A.
Publisher
Dover Publications. New York.
Year
1970
ISBN
0-486-22642-5
Description
Reprint of a 1913 Flora, but still a very useful book.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

N. America - Alaska to Newfoundland, south to California, Texas and Florida.

Habitat

Damp ground in waste places in California[
71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz P.A.
Publisher
University of California Press
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
]. Moist woods, meadows, thickets, fields, roadsides, railroads, borders of streams, ponds, sloughs, swamps, ditches; at elevations from 10 - 2,000 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsBees, Hoverflies
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Originally from N. America, Bidens frondosa has spread through cultivation and as a weed - it is reported to be naturalized in many parts of Europe, temperate Asia and New Zealand.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture-retentive soil in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Young leaves and stems - cooked[
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
].

Medicinal

Infusions and tinctures of Bidens frondosa are rated as outstanding herbal therapies for the treatment of irritation, inflammation, pain, and bleeding of the urinary tract mucosa. They are also used in treating benign prostatic hypertrophy and increasing excretion of uric acid, decreasing the risk of gout attacks[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
In addition to this the plant has been reported to treat palpitations of the heart, cough and uterine derangement[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
The plant is also active against staphylococcus infections. Its astringency and anti-inflammatory effects on the mucus membranes help act as a tonic and preventative for gastritis and ulcers and diarrhea and ulcerative colitis. The tea will often help relieve hay fever and also sinus headaches aused by allergies, infections or pollution[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Roots or seeds are used as an expectorant in throat irritation. The tea or tincture acts to soothe the membranes, increase mucus secretions and expectoration and decrease edema and swelling[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. The infusions have also cured several cases of croup and have been useful in relieving whooping-cough[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

The plant is potentially a useful source of essential oil extracts with antibacterial and antioxidant properties[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in May.
Alternatively, a sowing in situ in mid to late spring can be tried.

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