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Blackjack (Bidens pilosa)

Often gathered while growing wild, blackjack can be cultivated as well.

Common Names
Blackjack, Spanish needles (En); sornet, bident hérissé, herbe aiguille (Fr); bidente piloso, mozote, margarita silvestre (Sp); 咸豐草 (Cn)

Plant Distribution
All tropical and subtropical areas

Edible Parts
Tender shoots are eaten boiled or stir-fried, or powdered and added to sauce.

Health Values
Beta-carotene: high; vitamin E: medium; ascorbic acid: high; calcium: low; iron: low; protein: 3.0%. Leaves contain also anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antigastrointestinal
bacterial coumarins, flavonols and stilbenoids (flavonoids), phytosterols, polyacetylenes, and triterpenes, as well as saponins.

Read more: Blackjack, in Discovering Indigenous Treasures: Promising Indigenous Vegetables from Around the World. 2009. AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center.