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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Bidens pilosa

Bidens pilosa

Recognize the problem

Family: Asteraceae (daisy family).

Common names: Blackjack, beggar’s tick, broom stick, cobbler’s pegs, Spanish needle.

Vietnamese: Đơn buốt, dần sàng, quỷ châm, cúc áo.

Annual or evergreen broadleaved erect herb with a strong taproot (up to 1 m tall); stems hairless, four-angled, purplish green in colour, simple or branched.

Leaves: Green, compound with 3–5 leaflets each; leaflet shape variable but usually egg-shaped with a broader and rounded base tapering towards the end to spear-shaped [3–7 (–10) cm long and 1–2 (–5) cm wide], leaf margins with forward-pointing sharp projections or teeth, terminal leaflet always larger than lateral (side) ones.

Flowers: White petals, centre yellow (7–8 mm wide), usually borne singly on stalks (1 cm long).

Seeds: Black, slender (1-1.5 cm long), ribbed, dry, one-seeded, 2–4 yellowish barbed bristles or awns at terminal end.

Background

Origin: Latin America.

Introduction: Accidentally as a contaminant, as ornament and for agriculture.

Habitat: Humid-wet tropical regions.

Spread: As seeds by humans, animals, wind and water; the weed has been reported as a rice crop seed contaminant.

Invades: Crops (preferably upland field crops), plantations, pasture, disturbed land, wastelands, fallow land, gardens, drainage ditches, forest edges/gaps, riversides, gullies, roadsides and railway lines.

Impacts: The weed  is known to significantly reduce crop yields. Densities of eight blackjack plants per square metre in soybean fields can reduce yields by 43%. Dry bean harvests in Uganda and Peru were reduced by 48% and 18–48%, respectively, as a result of the presence of B. pilosa. In Southeast Asia this weed is problematic for those growing maize, cabbage and perennial and plantation crops such as  pineapple and guava. Bidens pilosa is also problematic on un-cultivated land. The weed is a host and vector to harmful parasites such as root knot nematodes and tomato spotted wilt virus. The large number of seeds, together with its negative impact on the growth of neighbouring plants, allows the species to form dense stands rapidly, displacing crops and native vegetation.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: All Countries

Authors: Nguyen Huy Manh, Vu Bach Ngoc, Vu Duy Hoang, Ngo Tien Binh, Nguyen Viet Ha, CABI. Edited by Nguyen Van Liem

©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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