Smooth Beggartick

Bidens laevis

image of smooth beggartick or Bidens laevis



Native or Introduced:

Nutrient Removal Rating:

picture of smooth beggartick

Wildlife Value:

Low - Medium

Rooted or Floating:
Rooted or floating

Site Requirements:
Full sun to part shade

Maximum Water Depth:
6 inches (rooted)
40 inches (floating)

Plant Description:
Smooth beggartick is an upright herbaceous annual.  Plant height ranges from 2 to approximately 6 feet. Smooth beggarstick are sometimes seeded into floating mats of other vegatation or may also form mats that float with no other vegetation.  At times, the plant stem may be submersed.

Smooth beggartick leaves are narrow, lance-shaped, and approximately 2 to 6 inches long, with smooth edges and pointed tips.  Stems range from a green to burgundy color depending upon tissue maturity.

Flower heads are subtended by 2-series of bracts.  The outer bracts are green and leafy, the inner bracts are yellowish in coloration. Smooth beggartick's flowering season lasts from September through November.

Plants grow in saturated or flooded soils and are perennial where no killing frosts occur.  Smooth beggartick seeds germinate either on moist soil or under water.  If buried in acidic mucky soils, the seeds go dormant until the soil is disturbed.  Seed dormancy may be induced by a lack of oxygen, and seeds remain viable for years.


  • Audlbach-Smith, C.A., deKozlowski, S.J. 1996. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
  • Flora of North America (see link below),


Additional reading: