Friday, December 19, 2014

Flower Friday: Burr marigolds illuminate our wetlands!

Photo by Joseph A. Marcus
Burr marigold (Bidens laevis)

Burr marigold is an annual wildflower that grows en masse in wetlands and along river and marsh edges throughout Florida. Its blooms consist of bright yellow ray flowers and dark yellow to brownish disk flowers. Its leaves are linear to elliptic in shape and oppositely arranged. Burr marigolds bloom in late fall through early winter.

Bidens laevis bears many similarities to other members of the Bidens genus:

  • It attracts many bees and butterflies and is an important source of nectar.
  • Its seeds have two barb-like bristles on the end that stick to clothing, hair and animal fur. (The name Bidens comes from the Latin words bis, meaning "two," and dens, meaning "tooth.")
  • Its young leaves are edible. (But unlike other Bidens members, its leaves are unlobed.)
Family: Asteraceae (Aster or Daisy)
Hardiness: North, Central and South Florida (Zones 7-11)
Soil: Moist to wet or inundated soils
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growth habit: 2–3 feet tall
Garden tips: A mass of burr marigold can be beautiful in a large wetland planting, but it is not recommended for the small or formal landscape as it can spread prolifically.

Burr marigold is occasionally available at nurseries that specialize in native plants.Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery on your area.

To see where burr marigold occurs naturally, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=4084

No comments: