These wildflowers are also known as beggar-ticks and stick-tightsreferences to their barbed seeds, which stick to the clothing or fur of anything that brushes by, allowing the plants to spread by hitchhiking. Many types of tickseed exist; most are out-and-out weeds, but a few offer showy flowers and make fine additions to the border. They prefer full sun and fertile soil that is always moist, be it boggy or well drained. Seeds planted in spring or summer sprout and grow quickly. Once planted, you'll have them forever, as they reseed profusely. Seedlings are nice to share, though, and it's easy to pull out those you don't want.
B. aristosa. Annual. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. North American prairie native grows 45 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide. Strongly dissected, toothed leaves resemble those of marigold (Tagetes). Masses of showy, daisylike yellow flowers to 2 in. wide appear in summer and fall, carried atop the foliage.
B. coronata. Annual. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. From bogs and meadows of North America. To 5 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide. Blooms in late summer, bearing golden yellow, daisylike blooms to 3 in. across. Foliage is more deeply dissected than that of B. aristosa.
B. ferulifolia. Perennial. Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11; anywhere as annual. Native to southern U.S., Mexico, Guatemala. The species grows to 3 ft. tall and wide, but the forms most commonly seen are trailing. Bright green leaves are divided into threadlike segments. Flower heads are bright golden yellow, an inch or so wide, with fewer ray flowers than most daisies and a light honey fragrance. Plants bloom almost continuously during mild weather. Extremely heat tolerant. Can be aggressive, clambering into or sprawling over their neighbors; when this happens, cut plants back (they will recover quickly).
Sold under a wide variety of names. Seed-grown kinds include 'Golden Eye', 1012 in. tall and broad, and 'Golden Goddess', 1122 ft. high and wide, with larger (212-in.) flowers. 'Goldie', 'Gold Marie', and 'Goldilocks Rocks' are cutting-grown plants similar in size to 'Golden Eye'.