Showy Roadside Flower – Tickseed Sunflower

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The long-bracted tickseed sunflower or Bidens aristosa is showing its bright and beautiful, yellow self again. It is member of the aster family. It is found on roadsides and forest edges and can be used in cultivated garden situations and in naturalized prairie or meadow planting as well. It likes the full sun but is adapted to partial shade as well. It can be seen in all parts of North Carolina. It is sparse in the mountains and abundant here in Surry County. The large yellow flowers mature in late summer and continue into early fall. This makes it one of the most talked about roadside plant in the fall.

The tickseed sunflower can grow 2-4 feet in height. It is an herbaceous annual or biennial herb with a deep taproot. It produces a thin, dry seed that often has barbs. It is one of our native plants and is moderately resistant to damage from deer. The nectar from flowers attracts butterflies and bees while its seeds are eaten by songbirds and ducks. Biden flowers support Dieunomia heteropoda, which are sweat bees.