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.

Zambia: 118 genera and 505 taxa.

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

Acanthospermum SchrankDescription
Acmella Rich.Description
Adenostemma J.R. Forst. & G. Forst.Description
Ageratina SpachDescription
Ageratinastrum Mattf.Description, Image
Ageratum L.Description
Ambrosia L.Description
Anisopappus Hook. & Arn.Description
Artemisia L.Description
Artemisiopsis S. MooreDescription, Image
Aspilia ThouarsDescription
Aster L.Description
Athrixia Ker Gawl.Description
Athroisma DC.Description, Image
Berkheya Ehrh.Description, Image
Bidens L.Description
Blainvillea Cass.Description
Blumea DC.Description
Bothriocline Oliv. ex Benth.Description
Brachythrix Wild & G.V. PopeDescription
Calostephane Benth.Description
Carduus L.Description
Centaurea L.Description, Image
Chrysanthellum Rich.Description
Cichorium L.Description, Image
Cineraria L.Description
Cirsium Mill.Description
Conyza Less.Description
Cosmos Cav.Description
Cotula L.Description
Crassocephalum Moench.Description
Crepis L.Description
Criscianthus Grossi & J.N. Nakaj.Image
Dacryotrichia WildDescription
Denekia Thunb.Description
Dewildemania O. Hoffm.Description
Dichrocephala L'Hér. ex DC.Description
Dicoma Cass.Description
Distephanus Cass.Description
Doellia Sch. Bip.Description
Eclipta L.Description, Image
Elephantopus L.Description
Emilia (Cass.) Cass.Description
Emiliella S. MooreDescription
Enydra Lour.Description
Erigeron L.Description
Erlangea Sch. Bip.Description
Erythrocephalum Benth.Description
Eschenbachia MoenchImage
Ethulia L.f.Description
Felicia Cass.Description
Flaveria Juss.Description
Galinsoga Ruiz & Pav.Description
Gazania Gaertn.Description
Geigeria Griess.Description
Gerbera Cass.Description, Image
Gnaphalium L.Description
Grangea Adans.Description
Guizotia Cass.Description
Gutenbergia Sch. Bip.Description
Gynura Cass.Description
Haplocarpha Less.Description
Helianthus L.Description
Helichrysum Mill.Description
Hirpicium Cass.Description
Hypericophyllum SteetzDescription, Image
Inula L.Description, Image
Jeffreya WildDescription
Kleinia Mill.Description
Lactuca L.Description
Laggera Benth.Description
Launaea Cass.Description
Lipotriche R. Br.Image
Litogyne Harv.Description, Image
Lopholaena DC.Description
Macledium Cass.
Microglossa DC.Description
Mikania Willd.Description
Mikaniopsis Milne-Redh.Description
Monactinocephalus KlattImage
Neojeffreya CabreraDescription, Image
Nicolasia S. MooreDescription
Nidorella Cass.Description, Image
Nolletia Cass.Description
Osteospermum L.Description
Pasaccardoa KuntzeDescription
Pegolettia Cass.Description
Pentanema Cass.Description
Pleiotaxis SteetzDescription, Image
Pluchea Cass.Description, Image
Porphyrostemma Benth. ex Oliv.Description
Pseudoconyza Cuatrec.Description, Image
Pseudognaphalium Kirp.Description
Pteronia L.Description
Pulicaria Gaertn.Description
Rastrophyllum Wild & G.V. PopeDescription
Schistostephium Less.Description
Schkuhria RothDescription
Sclerocarpus Jacq.Description
Senecio L.Description
Sigesbeckia L.Description, Image
Solanecio (Sch. Bip.) Walp.Description, Image
Sonchus L.Description
Sphaeranthus L.Description
Spilanthes Jacq.Description
Stenops B. Nord.Description
Stoebe L.Description
Stomatanthes R.M. King & H. Rob.Description
Synedrella Gaertn.Description
Tagetes L.Description
Taraxacum F.H. Wigg.Description
Tarchonanthus L.Description
Tithonia Desf. ex Juss.Description
Tolpis Adans.Description
Tridax L.Description
Vernonia Schreb.Description
Welwitschiella O. Hoffm.Description
Xanthium L.Description

Other sources of information about Asteraceae:

Our websites:

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

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Asteraceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Asteraceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Asteraceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Asteraceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Asteraceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Asteraceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Asteraceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Asteraceae
Wikipedia: Asteraceae
Plants of the World Online: Asteraceae
Tropicos: Asteraceae

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Family page: Asteraceae.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=26, retrieved 22 May 2024

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