Beggarticks & Allies

Fern-leaved Beggarticks Niger Niger Fern-leaved Beggarticks

What are they?

The species on this page are yellow-flowered members of the daisy and dandelion family - the Asteraceae. Their flowers are daisy-like, in having strap-like petals or 'rays' around the outside of the compound flowerhead only, with the small florets in the centre being petalless and forming a button-like middle. Unlike other members of this family, this group has flowerheads with less than 10 strap-like petals - and often less than six. These plants are annuals or herbaceous perennials and are often grown in gardens as ornamentals.

Where are they found?

Most are plants that are grown ornamentally and are most likely to be found as garden escapes or throw-outs on roadsides and waste ground in urban places.


The flowers of this group can seem all rather similar at first, so it pays to make a note of leaf detail and to take a close look at the phyllaries (the green bracts around the base of the flowerhead), which should make identification relatively straight forward.

Fern-leaved Beggarticks      Bidens ferulifolia

Introduced from the Americas as a garden ornamental, this plant has recently started appearing where it has self-seeded into cracks in pavement and walls in urban areas. Flowers July to October. A low, sprawling species with very finely cut leaves.

Fern-leaved Beggarticks Fern-leaved Beggarticks Fern-leaved Beggarticks Fern-leaved Beggarticks

Niger      Guizotia abyssinica

Introduced from East Africa as a source of oil seed and now commonly used as a constituent of birdfood. Plants occasionally germinate from spilt birdfood in urban and garden environments. Flowers July to October. Often grows to 30-60cm in height, but may grow to two metres or more in ideal conditions, although the plant is not frost hardy and many plants are seen only with leaves and do not reach flowering. Leaves are lance-shaped and clasp the stem in pairs at their bases. Flowers are carried in loose clusters at the top of the plant and each flowerhead usually has eight 'petals'.

Niger Niger Niger Niger
Leaf bases