Bidens


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Bidens

 

(beggar-ticks, bur marigold, or sticktight), a genus of annual or perennial herbs of the family Compositae. The opposite leaves vary from entire to pinnatisect. The disk flowers are bisexual; sometimes there are infertile ray flowers. The flowers are in heads generally borne singly on the apices of the stem and the branches. The fruit is an achene, with two to four retrosely barbed bristles on the apex.

There are more than 200 species, which are distributed worldwide but mainly in the Americas. The USSR has eight species. B. tripartita grows along bodies of water marshes, ditches, moist wastelands, gardens, and fields. The plant sometimes forms a dense cover. It contains essential oil; mucilaginous, bitter, and tannic substances; carotene; and vitamin C. In folk medicine the leaves and stem apices are used in baths to heal various diatheses with rashes; the herb is also used in an antiscrofulous mixture.

REFERENCES

Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
Kotukov, G. N. Kul’tiviruemye i dikorastushchie lekarstvennye rasteniia: Spravochnik. Kiev, 1974. (Translated from Ukrainian.)
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