Several Bidens species are used as food by the caterpillars of certain Lepidopterasuch as the noctuid moth Hypercompe hambletoni and nadicola brush-footed butterfly Vanessa carduithe bieens lady. Views Read Edit View history. Germplasm Resources Information Network. Systematic Botany 25 1 Bidens is distributed throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. Hawaiian Native Plant Genera — Asteraceae.
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In Europe and the Americas, the herb is known as Spanish needle. The Chinese herb xanthium fruit is a relative; the barbed fruits of that herb are used as medicine and must be handled carefully or they can cause injury. Descriptions of injuries from bidens spikes mainly infection from cuts received have appeared in the medical literature.
Bidens is a member of the Asteraceae formerly called Compositae family, which is one of the dominant families of plants contributing medicinal species not only in China but worldwide. It is used as an herbal medicine in many parts of the world, including southern China, Africa, and Central America. This herb has been used since ancient times in China, and especially in Taiwan, which has a tropical climate. Bidens pilosa is commonly found growing along roadsides, railroad tracks, vacant lots, and other places where the ground has been disturbed, including the shores of rivers of ponds.
Additional species of Bidens 11, 12, 13 , including non-tropical ones, are also used in Chinese herbal medicine see Table 1. Numerous other species of Bidens that do not grow in China are used in other countries for medical applications that are similar to those described by the Chinese.
Table 1: Main species of Bidens used in Chinese herbal medicine. These are used interchangeably. Botanical Identification.
HERB SOURCE AND TRADITIONAL USE
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