Herb: Burr Marigold

Latin name: Bidens tripartita

Synonyms: Bidens comosa, Bidens connata

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Burr Marigold:

Burr marigold is little used as a medicine nowadays, but it was once esteemed for its styptic properties being used to quickly staunch blood flow - it was often used to treat uterine haemorrhage and conditions producing blood in the urine. The whole plant is antiseptic, aperient, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, narcotic, sedative, styptic and sudorific. It is an excellent remedy for ruptured blood vessels and bleeding of any kind, and is of benefit to people with consumption. It is used internally to treat bladder and kidney problems, blood in the urine, uterine bleeding, ulcerative colitis and peptic ulcers. Externally, it is used in the treatment of alopecia. It is usually combined with a carminative herb such as ginger when used to treat digestive tract ailments. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

Ditches, pond and lake margins, sides of streams etc.

Edible parts of Burr Marigold:

Young leaves - cooked.

Other uses of the herb:

Yields a black dye. The part of the plant that is used is not specified. The burning herb repels insects and flies. The flowers yield a yellow dye of indifferent quality when alum is used as a mordant.

Propagation of Burr Marigold:

Seed - sow in situ during early spring and only just cover the seed. So long as the soil does not dry out, the seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks at 15C.

Cultivation of the herb:

Ditches, pond and lake margins, sides of streams etc.

Known hazards of Bidens tripartita:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.