Bidens tripartita (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Bidens tripartita L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 831 (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Trifid bur-marigold, three-lobed butterbur (En). Bident triparti (Fr)
  • Vietnam: thủy song nha.


From Europe and northern Africa to the Himalayas, China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, West Java and New Guinea (Irian Jaya).


In China, a decoction of B. tripartita is recommended in treating chronic dysentery, heart ailments, as a refrigerant and as a wash to treat chronic eczema. The roots and seeds are used as emmenagogue, expectorant, diuretic and also against kidney-stones and gallstones. B. tripartita also yields a black dye which is used as a hair dye in China.


An annual, erect herb up to 1(-1.5) m tall, stem 4-angular, glabrous or sparsely pubescent; leaves opposite, the upper ones sometimes alternate, pinnately 3-5-lobed or rarely entire, up to 13 cm long, sparsely pubescent below, margins coarsely serrate, terminal segment larger, sessile or on a short and winged petiole; capitula solitary, not radiate, 10-20 mm broad, outer involucral bracts 5-10, foliaceous, oblanceolate, 10-35(-45) mm long, inner ones ovate-lanceolate, 6-12 mm long; ray flowers absent, disk flowers with 4-4.5 mm long, yellow corolla; achene narrowly obovate, compressed, 6-11 mm long, with 2(-3) retrorsely barbed bristles. B. tripartita occurs in moist, open habitats like watersides, swampy pastures and paddy fields, up to 1700 m altitude.

Selected sources

97, 184, 259, 289, 508, 852, 1126, 1329.


D.S. Alonzo & J.W. Hildebrand