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This plant and other Bidens spp. are occasionally parasitized by various Cuscuta spp. (Dodders); the latter are vine-like plants without chlorophyll that often occur in wetlands. Because its ray florets are insignificant or absent, Purple-Stemmed Tickseed is one of the less showy species in this genus. It is relatively easy to confuse this species with other species in this genus that share this characteristic. In particular, Bidens comosa (Leafy-Bracted Tickseed) is similar in appearance. This latter species can be distinguished by the shorter petioles of its leaves (which are often winged), its longer leafy bracts (up to 2½" long), and the yellowish color of its stems. In addition, the corollas of the disk florets for this species have 4 lobes more often than 5 lobes, while the reverse is true for Purple-Stemmed Tickseed. The achenes of Purple-Stemmed Tickseed are also distinct


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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