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Illinois Native Plant Guide - Common Beggarsticks - Pages 44-45

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Common Beggarsticks
Bidens frondosa

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Prefers moist soil. Growth is favored by a 75-90% soil moisture content. Young plants have no tolerance for submergence and should not be flooded for more than 2 or 3 days in 1-2 inches of water. Mature plants have some tolerance for water level fluctuation. This species shares the same zone with Aster lanceolatus.

Wildlife Value

Provides cover and food. Achenes are eaten by mallard ducks and ruffed grouse. Plants are eaten by muskrats.


Used in upper shoreline zones, upland slope buffers, and in vegetated swales.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Achenes are available from commercial vendors.
  • Achenes have a high rate of germination after cold, moist stratification at 32-34o F for several months and spring planting.
  • Fresh achenes may also be fall planted by broadcasting and raking into soil for natural stratification.
  • Mid to late season drawdown (May -July) stimulates seed production from mature plants.

Common Beggarsticks
Bidens frondosa

Mature HeightCommon Beggarsticks
8 inches - 4 feet

Plant Type
Annual emergent herb

Indicator Status
Facultative Wet

Wide range

Nutrient Load Tolerance

Salinity Tolerance
Moderate to high

Siltation Tolerance

Flowering Color and Time
August to October

Light Preference
Partial to full sun

Seeding Rate
.125 lbs/acre

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