Purple-Stemmed Beggarticks, Purple-Stemmed Tickseed, Swamp Beggarticks, Etc.
Synonyms of Bidens connata (17) (Updated on 10-14-21 from Plants of the World Online): Bidens connata var. ambiversa Fassett, Bidens connata f. ambiversa (Fassett) E.G.Voss, Bidens connata f. anomala E.G.Voss, Bidens connata var. anomala Farw., Bidens connata var. fallax Sherff, Bidens connata var. fultior Fernald & H.St.John, Bidens connata var. gracilipes Fernald, Bidens connata var. inundata Fernald, Bidens connata var. petiolata Farw., Bidens connata var. pinnata S.Watson, Bidens connata var. saint-vincentii Sherff, Bidens connata var. submutica Fassett, Bidens connata var. typica Fassett, Bidens decipiens Warnst., Bidens petiolata Nutt., Bidens sandbergii Rydb., Bidens tripartita var. fallax Warnst.
Bidens connata Muhl. ex Willd. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Purple-Stemmed Beggarticks. It was described as such by Carl Ludwig Willdenow in the fourth edition of Species Plantarum in 1803. Mr. Willdenow gave credit to Gotthilf Henry Ernest Muhlenberg for first naming and describing the species.
The genus, Bidens L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 221 species in the Bidens genus (as of 10-14-21 when this page was last updated) It is a member of the plant family Asteraceae with 1,677 genera. Those numbers could change as updated are made on POWO ( and likely will).
The above distribution map of Bidens connata is from Plants of the World Online by. Ares in green are where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database for North America is about the same. The species may have a greater range than the maps show.
The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist are continually updated as members post new observations.
There are a few species of Bidens with similar characteristics as Bidens connata. Some, such as Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri, says B. connata is a synonym of B. tripartita. Both are listed as accepted scientific names on Plants of the World Online, Tropicos, the USDA Plants Database, and World Flora Online. More work is being done on this group because of their similarities and variability.
THERE ARE A FEW LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH BETTER ID.
I found a very small patch of Bidens connata behind the pond in the back pasture. This small area has several species of wildflowers found nowhere else on the farm. Bidens connata is an annual, herbaceous flowering plant in the plant family Asteraceae.
As I mentioned, there are several Bidens species that have similar flower heads. Basically, the flower heads consist of 20-40 disc florets with just a few small or no ray florets (petals). The flower heads are surrounded by 4-9 green outer bracts that are long, loosely ascending, and finely toothed. There are also 7-8 yellow inner bracts that surround the flower head.
The main stems are glabrous (smooth) and the leaves grow opposite one another from leaf nodes. The leaves, which I need more photos of, are lance-shaped (lanceolate) to sort of oblong always ending in a sharp point. The leaves have toothed margins and sometimes the lower leaves may be lobed. Leaves seem to be mostly smooth (glabrous) or have fine hairs (slightly pubescent). Leaves growing on the main stem seem to have petioles (petiolate-stem between the node and base of the leaf) while those on the branches seem to be sessile (have no petioles).
Side branches arise from the stem above the nodes which end in 1-3 flower heads. Stems can be green, purplish, or a combination of the two.
Bidens connata (Purple-Stemmed Beggarticks). Is not listed on the Missouri Plants website because they use Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri which says B. connata is a synonym of B. tripartita but it was written several years ago and A LOT has changed. You can read about Bidens tripartita on Missouri Plants by clicking HERE. Bidens connata and Bidens tripartita look so much alike you can hardly tell them apart even if you are pretty sure. The word “variable” comes to mind. Basically, B. connata has light green and purple stems where B. tripartita has light green to yellowish stems. Illinois wildflowers also says B. tripartita has shorter leaf petioles (which are sometimes winged) and longer leaf bracts. The disc flowers of Bidens connata usually have 5 lobes and sometimes 4, while the opposite is true for B. tripartita. Achenes of B. connata have 2 long outer awns and 2 short inner awns which often fall off (particularly the inner ones).
More “technical” botanical terminology can be found using the links below.
The link to Joybille Farm talk about the herbal uses of this species. It is a very good read.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. I have grown over 500 different plants and most have pages listed on the right side of the blog. I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a horticulturalist I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at email@example.com. I would enjoy hearing from you.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
FLORA OF NORTH AMERICA (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
PFAF (PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
NOTE: The figures may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates at least once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂