Beggar’s Ticks

Flowers_of_Bidens_pilosa2.JPGCommon names: Blackjack, Spanish needle, hairy beggarticks, farmer's friend, cobbler's pegs, pitchforks, kichoma mguu (Kiswahili), labika (Acholi), muceege (Kikuyu), ononot (Lango), xian feng cao (Chinese), muni (Aymara, Quechua), cuamba [Brazil]

Scientific name: Bidens pilosa

Climate: Frío, templado

Plant Description: Perennial herbaceous plant with erect stems that reach 1.8 m in height. It belongs to the Composite family. Its stems are square-shaped, green to a purplish color. Its leaves are oval, come in pairs, have serrated margins, and are 2-13 cm long.
Their small buds have numerous tiny yellow tubular flowers in the center and sometimes they also have some very tiny white petals.
The seeds are tiny, dark brown or black, have an elongated shape, and are topped with two or three spiked edges, which is where it gets the name Bidens (two teeth).
It is native to South America and currently has a cosmopolitan distribution.


It grows in practically all types of soils, light (sandy), medium and heavy (clayey), and in a wide variety of habitats. It is very tolerant to any type of climate, requires temperate-cold conditions, and is well resistant to frost (down to −15 ° C). It likes full sun, it does not survive in the shade. Prefers moist soil. 

It can bloom almost any part of the year but is most common from May to October. The species is hermaphroditic (it has male and female organs) and is pollinated by bees, floating flies, it also uses people and animals to disperse its seed because its seed remains stuck on clothing and fur.
It is considered a weed in some countries because it can dominate many other plants and crops, so it is important to take care of where it is grown. In other parts of the world, it is a source of food.
If it is used as food, the leaves must be harvested when they are young and used as a spring tonic food. The plant becomes more astringent as it ages. Its consumption must be limited due to the high content of silica.
If it is grown for medicinal purposes, cut the flowers to delay the harvest and the maturation of the seeds, stimulating the production of leaves you can have several harvests of leaves before autumn, depending on the local climate.

Bidens_pilosa.jpgUses: The entire plant is medicinally active, including the roots. Its compounds are identified as flavonoids and polyacetylene compounds, which have the broadest antimicrobial activity.
Broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, a powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, mucous membrane tonic, and specifically used to treat a variety of diseases such as malaria, dysentery, gastritis, ulcers, respiratory infections, and many more.


Bidens pilosa. (n.d.). Earth Medicine Institute. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from

Bidens pilosa Beggar’s Ticks, Blackjack, Hairy beggarticks PFAF Plant Database. (n.d.). Plants for a Future. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from

colaboradores de Wikipedia. (2020, August 10). Bidens pilosa. Wikipedia, La Enciclopedia Libre.

(n.d.). Spanish Needles, Pitchfork Weed. Eat The Weeds and Other Things, Too. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from

Factsheet - Bidens pilosa (Blackjack). (n.d.). Bionet-EAfrinet. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from

Farm, J. (2020, July 4). Bidens Can Help Fight Infections and Viruses: Get to Know Bidens. Joybilee® Farm | DIY | Herbs | Gardening |.

What Are the Medical Uses of Bidens Pilosa? (with pictures). (2020, July 24). WiseGEEK.

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, August 3). Bidens pilosa. Wikipedia.

En español:  Acetillo