Other names: Farmer's friends, beggar's ticks, pitchforks, stick-tights, burr marigold
Introduced From: South America
Habitat: A prominent weed of gardens, woodlands, and waste areas.
Uses: Leaves edible cooked
References: Low (Weeds), Richardson and Shepherd
Bidens pilosa, Cobbler's Pegs or Farmer's Friends, is a well known weed in the East of Australia. The seeds have a burr that sticks on to your clothing, so that if you brush against a plant in seed, you will end up covered in the seeds and have to pick them off one by one. The name "Farmer's Friends" comes from the seeds wanting to be your friend — not that the plant is particuarly friendly, unless you didn't have anything better to eat, which is about the only time you would be really glad to have Bidens pilosa around.
According to Tim Low it is probably the most widely eaten plant in Black Africa. The leaves do not taste that good, and must be boiled in a large volume of water, and other ingredients used to mask the flavour.
Photo: Bidens pilosa, Cobbler's Pegs. Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW. High resolution (1755 x 2637)
Photo: Bidens pilosa, Cobbler's Pegs. Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW. High resolution (1660 x 1823)
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