This is one of those flowers that reward a close look. The flowers are like tiny marigolds, and indeed they’re sometimes called bur-marigolds. The seeds, long and narrow like marigold seeds, have hooks that stick in animal fur or people’s clothes. These grew at the edge of a yard in Beechview.
From Gray’s Manual of Botany: B. bipinnata L. (SPANISH NEEDLES.) Smooth annual, branched; leaves 1-3-pinnately parted, petioled; leaflets ovate-lanceolate, mostly wedge-shaped at the base; heads small, on slender peduncles; outer involucre of linear bracts equaling the short pale yellow rays; achenes 4-grooved, nearly smooth, 3-4-awned, very unequal. Damp soil, R. I., westw. and southw.; occasional on ballast northw.
One response to “Spanish Needles (Bidens bipinnata)”
[…] It looks like a big single marigold from which someone has plucked off all the rays. As with Spanish Needles, the hooked seeds stick to animal fur or clothing. As with many others in the genus, this species […]