Trifid Bur-Marigold - Bidens tripartita, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse
Photo ©2005 Fomax
Click any photo for a larger image
Trifid Bur-Marigold - Bidens tripartita, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse
Photo ©2012 Didier Descouens

Trifid Bur-Marigold - Bidens tripartita
Family - Asteraceae
Also known as - Three-lobe Beggarticks

Trifid Bur-Marigold is a variable annual plant growing to a height of 10-60cm (4-25in), with dark green leaves and yellow ray-less flowers with black-streaked, sepal-like inner bracts.  It is native to large parts of the Northern hemisphere, including Europe, the Indian subcontinent, North America, East Asia, it has naturalized in other areas.  It grows in gravel, muddy pond edges, marshes, field tracks, paths and ditches to a height of around 50cm (20in), on erect stems with opposite three lobed, toothed dark green leaves on short stalks.

Yellow flower heads 1-2cm (0.4-0.8in) across are a capitulum surrounded by involucral bracts on two rows.  The flowers usually seen July to August are on stalks which emerge from the leaf nodes, mature to a ragged cypsela approximately 5-8mm (0.2-0.32in) long.  These have 2-4 small hooks, similar to products made by "Velcro", therby spreading them far and wide on the fur of small animals or clothing, where at some point the tips break off and the cypsela falls to the ground.

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