also known as Bur Marigolds, Beggar's Tick, Spanish Needle, Cobbler's Pegs

An erect annual or perennial herb with branching habit to about 1m high. Leaves are deeply divided into three toothed lobes, with the terminal lobe larger than the other two. Individual flowers are yellow but are tiny and held in dense terminal clusters in a widely branching flowering head. Each flower cluster has four or five short, broad, white ‘petals’ but these do not persist for very long. The seeds are black, about 1cm long, with 2 or 3 barbed awns at the tip. Beggar's tick is a prolific ephermeral herb…  It occurs as a major weed of vegetables and other crops; it is common in pastures, plantations, along roadsides and on wasteland throughout the region.  It thrives best in full sun, where the soil is relatively dry and infertile. It forms a dense ground cover that prevents regeneration of other species.

Propagation is by Seeds, which are spread from clothing or animal’s fur or feathers. Also dispersed by water.

Native range: Temperate and tropical America, but introduced early to the Pacific and parts of Asia.

University of Florida