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Nodding Bur Marigold Bidens cernua


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Nodding Bur Marigold
credit: Fungus Guy/CCSA

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Alternate name: Nodding Burr-marigold

Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Numerous yellow flower heads nod increasingly as the flowers mature.
Habit: native annual herb with variable appearance; stems usually erect and branching (rarely prostrate and rooting along the ground); clump-forming.
Height: 0.5-5 ft (15-150 cm) or more.
Leaf: opposite, undivided, usually stalked (rarely clasping), linear to lanceolate, narrow, pointed, to 8 in (20 cm) long and 2 in (5 cm) wide or more.
Flower: daisy-like, 3/4-2 in (18-50 mm) wide; with 6-8 short, wide, oval yellow rays (rarely, no rays); around a wide disk, dark yellow to orange.
Fruit: dry seed, green-black, flat, narrow, pointed, winged length-wise, with 4 barbs at the wide end; to 1/2 in (12 mm) long.

Flower July to October.

Habitat Swamps and wet ground, tidal marsh, sloughs, springs, pools, shorelines, peat and sedge bogs, flood plains, ditches.

Range Native to coastal regions of eastern North America; now naturalized across the continent and around the world; not reported in Florida, South Carolina or Mississippi.

Discussion Also known as: nodding beggar-ticks, bur marigold, sticktight. This plant is considered weedy or invasive in many areas of the world. The species name "cernua" is Latin for "nodding." Bur Marigold seeds are sometimes eaten by ducks. Where the range of this species and Smooth Bur Marigold (B. laevis) overlap in coastal areas, B. cernua is much less prevalent.