Weed of the year 2020

The award this year goes to…


Ok, I chose this partly because of its name, so very topical this year! If there had been a Covid 19 weed, I might have chosen that instead. As it was, it was a toss up between Bidens pilosa and lantana camara, both of which plague me to death. This year we had a massive lantana clearance drive, and they’re already creeping back. But lantana we have always with us, while Bidens has burst upon us suddenly this year.

This Bidens has pretty daisy-like flowers, very like the cute Tridax Daisy, the one whose heads we would flick off as kids. Both are natives of the Americas. But the leaves of Bidens are more angular, darker, more sinister looking, and it has sharp, pointy so-called seeds (thorns is as thorns does) that pierce through your clothes and stick into your tender (and awkward) places for months afterwards, driving you mad. It’s very invasive, and has run amok in all my beds in the past year.

Take note: Mr. Biden is welcome, but Bidens pilosa is definitely not!


19 responses to “Weed of the year 2020

  1. Coat buttons! Never knew it had a fancy name like Tridax Daisy. We have plenty of those but haven’t seen the Bidens yet.
    Wishing you all the best in your fight against Lantana and Bidens this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Coat buttons is a fancy name too, we only knew it as thatha poo! There used to be a thatha rhyme too, recited while beheading it – must ask around and see if any of my friends remeber it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • True that. I don’t remember what we called it, just that it was a prized possession, and the one who collected the most had a great time flicking the heads 😀’Coat buttons’ is quite recent.
        Now that I think of it many such flowers had onomatopoeic names, linked to the crushing flicking etc that they were popular for.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Not quite, Usha! We do have Congress grass, but we’ve managed to check its spread. Anyway, since I’m not allergic to it myself, I’m more bothered by these other thorny critters.


  2. In the picture the flower looks harmlessly pretty but the leaves have an edge that don’t look kind. May be there is always a give away in some morphology of the ‘sinister’? 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How ignorant I have been all these years! Just realised that it isn’t Tridax which is used as a model to study plant genetics but Arabidopsis spp (I always thought it is Tridax). Reading your post made me re-check all the facts. Have spent all of last monsoon dodging Tridax blooms on the bunds of our farm. And I find them very pretty. Thanks for this keen eye and writing these.

    Liked by 1 person

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