Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Bidens alba

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Datasheet

Bidens alba

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 10 December 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Bidens alba
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • B. alba is an erect annual or short-lived perennial herb native to Florida, South America and the West Indies. It has been introduced to the Pacific region and is now naturalized on many islands. It is a major weed on the Marshall Islands...

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bidens alba (L.) DC.

International Common Names

  • English: beggar's tick; butterfly needle; hairy needle; shepherd's needles; Spanish needle

Local Common Names

  • Micronesia, Federated states of: dihpwketipwehl suwed (Pohnpei)

Summary of Invasiveness

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B. alba is an erect annual or short-lived perennial herb native to Florida, South America and the West Indies. It has been introduced to the Pacific region and is now naturalized on many islands. It is a major weed on the Marshall Islands (Englberger, 2009).

B. alba is common in disturbed areas, such as on road sides and in pastures. It is particularly abundant in open and sandy areas such as atolls. It does not grow well in shade or in the understory of forests (Englberger, 2009).

B. alba spreads by its barbed seeds, which adhere to clothing, feathers and fur. It can also be carried in soil and on machinery (Englberger, 2009).

Description

Taken from Englberger (2009):

This erect annual or short-lived perennial herb grows 0.3-1.5 m high. It can be distinguished by its opposite, simple or trifoliate leaves; heads of yellow disk florets, surrounded by 5-8 white ray florets; and black, straight achenes 3.8-12.7 cm long, bearing several needle-like barbs.

Prevention and Control

Taken from Englberger (2009):

Pulling is difficult, but hand weeding can be effective if done repeatedly for an extended period. For chemical control, triclopyr can be used as a foliar spray. Some Marshall Islanders recommend using seawater to control this weed.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Asterales
  •                         Family: Asteraceae
  •                             Genus: Bidens
  •                                 Species: Bidens alba

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

North America

United StatesPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FloridaPresentNative
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized

Oceania

Federated States of MicronesiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveWidespread on Pohnpei; also present on Chuuk and Kosrae; Established
GuamPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveA major weed
NauruPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized
PalauPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized

References

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Englberger K, 2009. Invasive weeds of Pohnpei: A guide for identification and public awareness. Kolonia, Federated States of Micronesia: Conservation Society of Pohnpei, 29 pp.

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