Burr-Marigold, Bidens tripartita   Leave a comment

Burr-Marigold, Bidens tripartita, is a flowering native to most of the Northern hemisphere, including Europe, India, North America, Asia, and northern Africa; which has naturalized in other areas. Burr-Marigold grows happily alongside of ponds, ditches or by any running water; in damp to wet soil with lots of sun. Bidens comes from the Latin bis, “twice”, and dens, “tooth”; referring to the barbed fruits that unmercifly cling to fur and clothing.  Other common names for Burr-Marigold include Water Hemp, Bastard Hemp, Sticktight, Bastard Agrimony; and Hipatorium.

Burr-Marigold is a short, 6″ to 2 ft. annual, with dull, yellowish-brown flowers on 4-angled, green and purple, erect to straggly stems.

Burr-Marigold leaves are up to 4 ½ in long, arranged alternately with toothed or lobed margins.  The dark brown seeds have spiked projections on one end that adhere to clothing and animal fur, hence another common name, Beggar Ticks.


The little yellow-brown, button-like flowers, surrounded by leaf-like bracts, appear in summer.


 Burr-Marigold’s aerial parts are best gathered as flowering begins and then, dried for use in tea or tinctures.  It is a bitter, astringent, diuretic herb that controls bleeding; and. . .well. . . it tastes kind of harsh.  The addition of other herbs, spices and/or sweetener helps make Burr-Marigold tea a much more pleasant experience!  I like to mix a slice or two of fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon dried Burr-Marigold, and 1 teaspoon dried Goldenrod, Solidago odora, (1) and steep in 8 oz boiling water, for 10 minutes; then strain, and add a sprinkle of crushed cloves, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey.  Now, that’s a nice cup of tea!

Around the world, Burr-Marigold has long been used to treat fevers, urinary tract disorders and renal and respiratory diseases; due to its astringent, antiseptic and diuretic properties. Herbalists recommend it for heavy menstrual blood loss, blood in the urine, uterine bleeding, ulcerative colitis, and peptic ulcers.  I was unable to find any drug interaction information for Burr-Marigold.  Certainly, if you are taking diuretics or blood thinners, check with your Health Care Provider before using Burr-Marigold medicinally.

In his Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman notes, “When the dried herb is burnt, the flower heads give off a cedar-like smell that will act as an anti-insect incense.” (2)

“Evaluation of the chemical composition of  Bidens species has revealed the presence of flavonoids, xanthophylls, volatile oil, acetylenes and polyacetalenes, sterols, aurones, chalcones, caffeine and caffeoyl derivatives, and tannins. Antimicrobial activity is believed to be associated with phenylheptatriyne, linolic acid, and linolenic acid. Friedelin, friedelan-3-beta-ol, and flavonoids, such as quercetin, are associated with anti-inflammatory activity. Antioxidant action has been attributed to glucopyranosides found in B. pilosa  while polyacetylenic glucosides may act on T-helper cells.” (3)


Just click on any photo to enlarge, for greater detail.

Thanx for stopping by.  See you next time.






      Element Books.  1996



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