Nodding Bur Marigold: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, What's up/blooming

I wasn’t expecting it. I walked down the path to the swampy area we call the “pond,” through a tunnel of foliage, and when I emerged on the other end:

Nodding bur marigold Bidens cernua

This field of golden yellow took me by surprise.

Pow!A swath of golden yellow appeared from seemingly nowhere. I didn’t remember seeing this last autumn, but last summer was a lot drier. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember ever seeing these native wildflowers before. Permit me to introduce you to nodding bur marigold, aka Bidens cernua.
Nodding bur marigold native plant Bidens cernua

Nodding bur marigold likes it wet, and this low-lying area provides plenty of moisture.

According to an Illinois wildflower site, bur marigold prefers “full or partial sun, wet conditions, and mucky soil.” That’s exactly the conditions here. Bur marigold is in a genus of plants commonly referred to as beggar-ticks (which is where the “bur” in its common name comes from). Which is how I came to learn a new word, zoochorous, meaning dispersed by animals. Yes, it’s those kind of seeds that stick to your clothes, or your pet’s fur, like crazy. A month ago, when I visited this area for my last Wildflower Wednesday post, I had no clue these plants were here. Just goes to show that if you really want to become familiar with a natural area, you need to visit it regularly.

Posted for Wildflower Wednesday, created by Gail of Clay and Limestone, to share wildflowers/native plants no matter where you garden in the blogosphere. “It doesn’t matter if we sometimes show the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. It’s always the fourth Wednesday of the month!”

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Donalyn@The Creekside Cook September 26, 2013, 1:38 pm

We see these down by the creek, but not every year – I think it hot dry years they just don’t do much. Very pretty!

cynthia September 26, 2013, 9:32 am

Lovely! So this dispersal would be the process of epizoochory and probably a little anthropochory! ;~) It is so nice to see blooming plants rather than dead and crunchy ones! Yep, still in severe drought!

Lea September 26, 2013, 6:54 am

Have a wonderful day!
Lea’s Menagerie

Donna@Gardens Eye View September 25, 2013, 9:22 pm

What a gorgeous swath of gold Kathy…

Gail September 25, 2013, 7:18 pm

A beautiful field and my understanding is that it’s quite a pollinator magnet. Love the new word~zoochrous! Happy WW Kathy….xogail

Carol - May Dreams Gardens September 25, 2013, 7:08 pm

How true… you don’t really know an area until you’ve seen in all seasons, including wet and dry seasons. It’s very pretty.

Victoria September 25, 2013, 10:46 am

These pretty flowers yield nasty small hooked seed pods that l remove from dogs, horses and myself
every fall. “Beggar-ticks” is an appropriate name for them, they do resemble a partially engorged tick.

Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern September 25, 2013, 8:37 am

Beautiful! It is so great to see a large swath of truly wild flowers in a wild area. And you do have a great point – you need to visit an area often to see what really goes on. I love the bidens flowers. I have a variety that pops up in my garden now and then. The birds love them but yes they really do love to stick to my dog – zoochorous!