I found this plant growing wild like a weed near the Seen Hock Yeen Temple in Chemor town in Perak state, Malaysia. I think this is a lovely wildflower. I have also seen this at the rooftop Secret Garden of 1-Utama (my first post about this plant here).
The plant and flowers are much bigger than those of the Coat Buttons (Tridax procumbrens), a common weed we often see growing wild by the roadside.
Australian: farmers friends, pitchforks, sticky beaks
The malay name "Kancing Baju" applies to both Bidens pilosa and Tridax procumbrens even though the are different species.
More names from Wikipedia here.
I have collected some seeds from the roadside plants and planted them in my home garden. The seeds germinated fast. This is an annual plant that can grow to about 1m tall.
“Bidens pilosa - Spanish Needles in my home garden”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on June 9th, 2012.
They attract bees and butterflies.
With pollen on its hairs and legs, it now seems to be coated with gold!
This is to prevent the "needles" from falling all over the place.
My plants were still young. They were just starting to flower. One night, there was a sudden thunderstorm with strong winds and heavy rains. This is what I found when I woke up the next morning. So, that's the end of my Spanish Needles story.
b) Ray florets absent or 4-7 per head, rays 2-8 mm long: Bidens pilosa (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 279-281).
2. Bidens pilosa is an introduced and invasive species in Malaysia.
Reference for (1) and (2) : PIER
3. Beggarticks (Pilosa alba) for Butterfly Gardens - Read the article in Floridata website here.
4. Spanish Needle flowers as a herb in Chinese Medicine - see video at eHow here.
5. Spanish Needle (Bidens species e.g. Bidens pilosa or Bidens alba) used as an edible weed in "EatTheWeeds:Episode 75:Spanish Needles, Bidens" - see video here.
6. Bidens pilosa has medicinal (traditional and modern) uses, check out GLOBinMED (Institute of Medical Research Malaysia) website here.