Bidens pilosa or Black-Jack
Bidens pilosa, a herbaceous annual, is part of the Asteraceae family of plants. Carl Linnaeus first wrote about Bidens pilosa in 1753. It is native to South America but has been naturalized in many parts of the world. They also call it Black-Jack, Spanish Needle, Beggarticks, Farmer’s Friend, Devil’s Needles, Broom Stick, Pitchforks, or Cobbler’s Pegs, and the Chinese call it Xian Feng Can.
Bidens pilosa has branched stems and grows to 1.8m or 6ft tall. Its foliage is opposite and ranges from simple to pinnate. Bidens pilosa flowers any time of the year, but the usual flowering season is spring and summer. The flowers are white with a yellow center. Usually, the yellow disc florets are surrounded by white florets, and later the flowers turn into barbed fruits.
They use all parts of this plant in traditional medicine to treat over forty disorders. These disorders range from snake bites to inflammation and immunological or digestive disorders. They also consume it as food in many parts of the world. In Eastern Africa, it is used in stews. The roots and the leaves are phototoxic, and consumption of the leaves in Africa has been found to cause cancer.
How to grow Bidens pilosa:
Grow Bidens pilosa in the sun. It is a fast-growing plant. Plant it in fertile moderately moist but well-drained soil. Bidens pilosa can tolerate drought. This plant grows three times faster than most plants. Propagate by seed.