Smallfruit beggarticks flower

Smallfruit beggarticks

Pictured above: Smallfruit beggarticks (Bidens mitis) by Grace Howell. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF.

Smallfruit beggarticks(Bidens mitis) is an annual herbaceous wildflower. Its conspicuous blooms consist of eight bright yellow ray florets surrounding many yellow disk florets. Leaves are oppositely arranged and variable in shape, but are usually lanceolateMargins may be toothed or lobedStems are thin, branched and weak, often bending under the weight of the flower. Fruits are achenesSeeds are small and dark with many fine hairs, allowing them to stick to clothing, fur or feathers to be carried to a new area.

Checkered skipper on Bidens mitis
Checkered skipper feeds on Smallfruit beggarticks nectar. Photo by Grace Howell

Smallfruit beggarticks typically blooms late spring through late fall, but can bloom year-round. It occurs in wet prairies and along fresh and brackish marsh edges. The flowers attract many bees and butterflies and are an important source of nectar.

Family: Asteraceae (Aster, daisy or composite family)
Native range: Nearly throughout Florida, except extreme southern counties
To see where natural populations of smallfruit beggarticks have been vouchered, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/.
Hardiness: Zone 8A–10
Soil: Moist to wet
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growth habit: 2–2½’ tall
Propagation: Seed
Garden tips: Smallfruit beggarticks are best suited for wetland restoration projects.

Plants are occasionally available from nurseries that specialize in Florida native plants. Visit www.plantrealflorida.org to find a nursery in your area. Seeds are available from the Florida Wildflower Seed Cooperative.

For more information on other Bidens species, see these resources: