Pictured above: Burr marigold (Bidens laevis) by Mary Keim. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF.
Burr marigold is an annual wildflower that grows en masse in wetlands and along river and marsh edges throughout Florida. Its blooms consist of bright yellow ray florets and dark yellow to brownish disk florets. Its leaves are linear to elliptic in shape and oppositely arranged. Burr marigolds bloom in late fall through early winter.
Bidens laevis bears many similarities to other members of the Bidens genus:
- It attracts many bees and butterflies and is an important source of nectar.
- Its seeds have two barb-like bristles on the end that stick to clothing, hair and animal fur. (The name Bidens comes from the Latin words bis, meaning “two,” and dens, meaning “tooth.”)
- Its young leaves are edible. (But unlike other Bidens members, its leaves are unlobed.)
Family: Asteraceae (Aster, daisy or composite family)
Native range: Throughout Florida
To see where natural populations of Burr marigold have been vouchered, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Soil: Moist to wet or inundated soils
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growth habit: 2–3’ tall
Garden tips: A mass of Burr marigold can be beautiful in a large wetland planting, but it is not recommended for the small or formal landscape as it can spread prolifically.
Burr marigold is often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants. Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery on your area.
For more information on other Bidens species, see these resources: