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Annuals.  Typical height is 2 to 3 feet.

Inflorescences consist of from 1-3 flower heads located at the summit of the stem or at ends of branches.

Flower heads are discoid, erect (not nodding) (not nodding).  Ray florets are absent.  Disc florets are bisexual and fertile, 15-20+ per head; the corollas yellow-orange.   Involucral bracts are in two series: an inner series, which are short, yellowish and petal-like; and an outer series of 3-5, which are narrower, green, leaf-like, with margins that are typically not ciliate.

Basal leaves are absent at flowering.    Primary stem leaves are opposite, borne on petioles, divided into 3 lanceolate or lance-ovate leaflets, and coarsely toothed.

Cypselae are brown to black, flattened, flat or concave at the summit, narrowed toward the base, the faces are often dotted with minute tubercules.  The pappus is of 2 awns, 1-2.4 mm long.

Plants of pond and stream shores, edges of marshes, wet meadows.  Flowers late August through September.  Native..

Similar species:  Bidens frondosa

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