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)
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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).
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.
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|
|United States||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Widespread on Pohnpei; also present on Chuuk and Kosrae; Established|
|Marshall Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive||A major weed|
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.
CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Englberger K, 2009. Invasive weeds of Pohnpei: a guide for identification and public awareness. In: Invasive weeds of Pohnpei: a guide for identification and public awareness, Kolonia, Federated States of Micronesia: Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP). 29 pp.
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