Shepherd's Needles
(Hairy Beggarticks - Butterfly Needles)
Bidens pilosa - Linnaeus
Family: Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower)

Plant is an upright, sprawling, much-branched annual; known to root at leaf nodes if branch is reclining; reaches heights of 6 feet in rich woods and roadsides if left undisturbed. Stems are more or less square. Preferred habitat is roadsides, thin woods, roadsides and stream banks. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are opposite; two to three-partly divided by divisions not extending to the midrib of the leaf; consisting of one part; stalked and winged (slight flanges along both sides of leaf stem like a sumac).

Flower is a head about 3/4 inch in diameter with five to eight white rays. Disc flowers are yellowish; bisexual; symmetrical; awns are barbed. Flowers occur in the summer.

Fruit is achene.

This sunflower differs from its close relatives by its white flower rays; Sunflower, Aster, Thistle, Groundsel, Thoroughwort, Sneezeweed and Everlasting.

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