An Historic Weed

This is an addition to my previous post. Quite a few people didn’t know what blackjacks were, and I wondered where else they can be found.

Compliments of Wikipedia – the scientific name for Blackjacks is Bidens pilosa.

Here is a closeup. The focus isn’t quite right – it is just from my cellphone.

Blackjack closeup

Blackjack closeup

The blackjack is often found growing with khakibos (Alternanthera caracasana). If you rub the leaves of the khakibos between your fingers, it has a very strong, distinctive smell.

Khakibos and Blackjacks

Khakibos and Blackjacks

Khakibos and blackjacks aren’t native to South Africa. During the second Anglo-Boer war (1899 to 1902) the British imported fodder for the horses from Argentina and the seeds for the khakibos and blackjacks were in the bales. The British soldiers wore khaki uniforms, so – khakibos – literally Khaki bush. Interestingly, the cosmos flower comes from the same source.

I would be interested to know if the khakibos is familiar to anyone else?

Update: It has just been pointed out to me that these are two different plants! I originally said they were the same. My mistake. Don’t go by the first images that pop up on Google… I went by a wrongly labeled image someone posted years ago. Thank you to Merle Louw.


About notewords

Guitarist, Music teacher, Writer
This entry was posted in Animals, history, Life, nature and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to An Historic Weed

  1. Zarina says:

    I have yet to see this in Malaysia. Either grown wild or cultivated.

  2. franhunne4u says:

    Tagetes minuta, also known as southern cone marigold, stinking roger or black mint, is a tall upright marigold plant from the genus Tagetes, with small flowers, native to the southern half of South America. Since Spanish colonization, it has been introduced around the world, and has become naturalized in Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America, and Africa – and Wikipedia has much more to say about this plant.

  3. Interesting. Never heard of it or saw it.

  4. Thumbup says:

    Never seen it! It’s native to South American? Makes good flea repellent?

  5. fabrickated says:

    Never seen or heard of it. But thank you for the interesting information about the spread of the seeds.

  6. Pingback: Few pet goldfish. | Live Love Laugh

  7. Merle Louw says:

    Hi there, I think you have mixed up the Black Jack plant and the Khakibos plant. They are not one and the same thing like you have indicated. The Black Jack is Bidens Pilosa. The picture show has both plants – if they are ‘the same’ why don’t they ‘look the same?’ Both plants, as well as the Cosmos came into this country from Argentina when fodder fr the British horses was imported.

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