Marsh Sticktights
(Swamp Beggarticks - Small Beggarticks - Few Bract Beggarticks)
Bidens discoidea
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

Plant is an upright or sprawling and decumbent annual or short-lived perennial; forms dense, matted colonies. Stems are fleshy, tinged with purple and rooting at the nodes. Preferred habitat is brackish marshy areas, ditches and backwater sloughs. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region, but primarily coastal.

Lower stem leaves are of variable size and length, unlobed and lance-like, margins smooth or sharply incised, with or without leaf stalks that may be winged. Upper stem leaves are linear to oblong and widest at the middle.

Flowers are solitary on the stem and measure about two to three inches across, sometimes nodding. Disc portions are about 1/2 inch wide. Ray and disc flowers are yellow. Flowers occur in the summer and autumn.

Fruit is a seed which outer layer is fused to it (achene).

It should be noted that a related variety of this sticktight (B. laevis) flowers in the spring or autumn in and around stagnant fresh water ponds and stream banks. It’s seed has two awns, as does “discoidea."

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