Cobblers pegs

Hello, I’m Cobblers Pegs

Botanical Name

Bidens pilosa


I am a short- lived, perennial plant that is green in colour, although older leaves can be reddish. My small daisy-like flowers are attractive with white petals and a yellow centre. However, I quickly degenerate into a seed head with hundreds of seeds which have several hooks that attach themselves to clothing. Some know me as Farmers Friends (it’s that Australian sense of humour!) I’m an upright plant growing up to 80cm high. I flower all year round and can produce hundreds of seeds from each flowering. I am an exotic pest and equally disliked as a weed across the world. Research is showing that I am actually a herb, and my leaves can be used in salads and as a green tea.


As a weed, I am great in taking advantage of the poor condition of your soil. I like to grow in dry.soils that are nutrient deficient, particularly soils that are low in calcium and phosphate. I can also be indicating your soils are high in other minerals including magnesium, boron and potassium. And I really love a sunny position so don’t grow well in the shade!


I am high in nutrients including vitamins A, C and E. My young leaves are best as they are most appetising. My leaves and flowers can be chewed to relieve toothache and research has found that I have strong antibacterial action against dental pathogens. I have also been found to be highly anti-microbial,with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. I am even useful in treating diabetes! Even my seeds are shown to contain some of these properties! Why not collect my seeds and roast them? It tastes like poppy seeds.


I am best controlled by listening to what I’m telling you about your soil condition! I like to grow in dry.soils that are deficient in calcium and phosphate. So, try adding these minerals to your soil after checking the pH. I can be controlled by hand weeding, as I pull out easily, especially after rain. Just make sure you remove me before I flower as I set hundreds of seeds each flowering session. If you want to keep me around as a salad vegetable, make sure you keep removing my flowers and don’t let me set seed!

I can also be controlled by using a biodynamic pepper ( see Biodynamic Peppers) However, weed peppers work best when combined with a weed tea. Weed teas take the nutrients I have accumulated in my leaves and feed them back to the soil.

If you must spray, use an organic weed killer comprised of vinegar, salt and soap or pour boiling water over me as this burns me. Other ways of controlling me include using organic herbicides like Slasher, but why use poisons when I can be pulled out so easily? If I have set seed, my seeds need to be destroyed otherwise I will grow into a new crop next week!! Poisons and weedkiller will NOT destroy my seeds.