White florets surround
Yellow curls in the center
A lovely design
Coatbuttons, Tidax procumbent, (Aster family), is a well established nonnative wildflower on Fort Myers Beach. It is a hairy perennial that usually appears along roadsides and in the lawns of many beach residents. Coatbuttons is a small plant, usually no more than 3 to 6 inches in height. One main stem with one or two branches grows from fibrous roots. Ovate to oblong leaves with rough serrated margins and a pointed tip are arranged in pairs on the branches. Leaves are 1 to 3 inches long and about ½ inch in width. There is considerable spacing between the leaf pairs.
The main stem is quite hairy and is usually leafless. A single flowerhead is borne at the tip of the main stem. The flower head is composed of a disc with a few dozen golden florets. There are four short creamy white ray florets. Each floret has three pointed tips. The flower head is about ½ inch in diameter. This species can be easily confused with the prolific Beggarticks, Bidens alba. Beggarticks, however, is a much larger plant with a lot of leaves and five long white florets.
Coatbuttons has some antiviral, antioxidant and antibiotic therapeutic efficacies; however, it is not cultivated and is listed in Florida as a noxious weed.
The specimen in the picture was not taken on the Beach. It was found along the edge of an orange grove in Hendry County.