Cobblers Peg aka Beggars tick or Farmers Friend
Farmers Friend or Cobblers Peg

Cobblers pegs (Bidens pilosa)

Cobblers Pega aka Beggars Tick or Farmers Friend is a short-lived annual plant that has upright stems and grows up to 1.8 m tall. The invasiveness of Cobblers Pegs is able to produce large amounts of viable seed, which can remain dormant for many years. This coupled with its ease of dispersal, and ability to grow in a wide range of habitats means it is highly invasive.

After you finish reading this, you will be able to:

  • Identify the Cobblers Peg, Beggars Tick or Farmers Friend.
  • Know the habitat of the Farmers Friend or Beggars Tick and
  • Know the best cultural and chemical options to control Farmers Friend or Cobblers Peg.

Cobblers Peg is an Environmental weed in NSW and QLD.


How to Identify Cobblers Peg.

Its green to purple stems are square in cross section, and it has pairs of leaves (2.5-13.5 cm long) that have toothed margins and vary in nature depending on where they are on the plant.
These can be oval in shape, deeply-lobed or once-compound with 3-7 leaflets.

Category: Broadleaf (Dicot)

Flower: Cobblers Peg flowers all year round, and its small flower-heads (5-15 mm across) have numerous tiny yellow tubular flowers in the centre.  Sometimes it also has white petals 2-8 mm long.

Height: Up to 1.8m high, but usually 20-90 cm tall.

Leaf length: The toothed leaves are 2.5 to 13.5 cm long.

Leaf width:

Reproduction: Farmers Friend reproduces only by seed due to hooked bristles on the fruit. These readily attach to clothing and animals. The seeds also disperse by vehicles, by water, and in agricultural produce.

Its dark brown or black ‘seeds’ (4-16 mm long) are elongated in shape and topped with two or three barbed awns (1-4 mm long).


Habitat: Cobblers Peg is a weed of gardens, parks, roadsides, and waste areas.

Farmers Friend is a good soil indicator weed of disturbed soils, and thin lawns. For more information check out our weed ID Chart.




How to control Cobblers Peg in your lawn.

You can control Cobblers Peg by cultural and chemical means.


Cultural control:

Hand weeding, hoeing and mowing will control the weed but is best done before it flowers. Cobblers Peg does not compete well in shade, so maintain a healthy dense turf.
Hygiene is also important. If you or machinery moves into areas where Farmers Friend is present washing down machinery is a good habit to get into. Also, ensure seeds are not carried on clothes between infested and ‘clean’ areas.

Chemical control of Cobblers Peg.

In Australia, there several selective post emergent options to manage this weed in turf.  Quali-Pro Nutmeg (Bentazone), Quali-Pro Negate (Rimsulfuron, and Metsulfuron-methyl), 2,4-D (amine) and Dicamba all control this weed. Campbells Stature (MCPA, Bromoxynil and Diflufenican) suppresses it.
In agriculture, Pendimethalin (ProForce Battalia 435 Herbicide) is registered to control this weed.
You can only use Adama Negate on warm season turf, and Campbells Stature is not for use on home lawns.

Non selective options include Glyphosate (Rapid Fire 800) and Glufosinate-ammonium .