(used with a singular or plural verb) a composite plant, Bidens bipinnata, having achenes with downwardly barbed awns.
(used with a plural verb) the achenes themselves.
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Origin of Spanish needles
An Americanism dating back to 1735–45; in allusion to its tropical American origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019