Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Metachlamydeae: Asterales

Asteraceae - Sunflower family


Beentje, H.J. & Ghazanfar, S.A. (eds.) (2005) Compositae (Part 3) Flora of Tropical East Africa

Beentje, H.J. (ed.) (2000) Compositae (Part 1) Flora of Tropical East Africa

Beentje, H.J. (ed.) (2002) Compositae (Part 2) Flora of Tropical East Africa

Pope, G.V. (1992) Compositae Flora Zambesiaca 6(1)

Description of the family

Herbs, suffrutices, shrubs or (rarely) climbers or trees. Leaves alternate, less often opposite. Stipules 0, but false stipules occur in a few species (for example: Vernonia myriantha and Senecio deltoideus) . Flowers small (florets), aggregated into heads (capitula) and simulating single larger flowers and surrounded by a calyx-like involucre of one or more series of bracts (phyllaries). Receptacle of the head expanded, with or without receptacular scales or bristles each subtending a floret. Florets all similar sexually (head homogamous) or central and marginal florets differing (head heterogamous) and then the central florets usually bisexual or rarely male, the outer female or rarely neuter. Calyx never typically herbaceous but represented by a pappus of numerous simple or feathery (plumose) hairs, or a smaller number of membranous scales, teeth or bristles, or by a continuous membranous ring; sometimes 0.

Corolla composed of (3-)5 united petals fused into a tube below and with a distal limb consisting of either: (1) 5 actinomorphic lobes or teeth (tubular florets); or (2) a unilateral strap-shaped limb (ray) 0-3(-4)-dentate at the apex; or (3) a unilateral strap-shaped limb (ligule), 5-dentate at the apex.

Stamens 5, borne on the corolla-tube; anthers usually fused into a cylinder around the style. Ovary inferior, 1-celled, with 1 basal ovule; style single below but branching above into 2 stigmatic arms. Fruit an achene, crowned by the pappus, sometimes with a slender beak interposed between them.

Worldwide: 1,528 genera and 22,750 species, cosmopolitan, excluding Antarctica.

Caprivi: 40 genera and 65 taxa.

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Links to genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Acanthospermum SchrankDescription
Adenostemma J.R. Forst. & G. Forst.Description
Ageratum L.Description
Ambrosia L.Description, Image
Anisopappus Hook. & Arn.Description
Aspilia ThouarsDescription
Bidens L.Description
Calostephane Benth.Description
Conyza Less.Description
Crassocephalum Moench.Description
Denekia Thunb.Description, Image
Dicoma Cass.Description, Image
Distephanus Cass.Description
Eclipta L.Description, Image
Erlangea Sch. Bip.Description
Ethulia L.f.Description
Felicia Cass.Description
Flaveria Juss.Description, Image
Galinsoga Ruiz & Pav.Description
Geigeria Griess.Description
Grangea Adans.Description, Image
Helichrysum Mill.Description
Hirpicium Cass.Description, Image
Laggera Benth.Description
Lipotriche R. Br.Image
Litogyne Harv.Description, Image
Mikania Willd.Description
Nicolasia S. MooreDescription
Nidorella Cass.Description
Pechuel-Loeschea O. Hoffm.Description
Philyrophyllum O. Hoffm.Description
Pleiotaxis SteetzDescription
Pseudognaphalium Kirp.Description
Sclerocarpus Jacq.Description, Image
Senecio L.Description
Sphaeranthus L.Description
Tithonia Desf. ex Juss.Description
Tridax L.Description, Image
Vernonia Schreb.Description
Xanthium L.Description

Other sources of information about Asteraceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Asteraceae
Flora of Malawi: Asteraceae
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Asteraceae
Flora of Mozambique: Asteraceae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Asteraceae
Flora of Zambia: Asteraceae
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Asteraceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Asteraceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Asteraceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Asteraceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Asteraceae
Wikipedia: Asteraceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Caprivi: Family page: Asteraceae.
https://www.capriviflora.com/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=26, retrieved 2 February 2023

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