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.

Malawi: 93 genera and 357 taxa.

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

Acanthospermum SchrankDescription, Image
Acmella Rich.Description
Adenostemma J.R. Forst. & G. Forst.Description
Ageratinastrum Mattf.Description, Image
Ageratum L.Description
Ambrosia L.Description
Anisopappus Hook. & Arn.Description
Artemisia L.Description
Aspilia ThouarsDescription, Image
Aster L.Description
Athrixia Ker Gawl.Description
Austrosynotis C. JeffreyDescription
Berkheya Ehrh.Description, Image
Bidens L.Description, Image
Blumea DC.Description
Bothriocline Oliv. ex Benth.Description
Brachythrix Wild & G.V. PopeDescription, Image
Calostephane Benth.Description
Carduus L.Description
Centaurea L.Description, Image
Chrysanthellum Rich.Description
Chrysanthemoides Fabr.Description
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
Dewildemania O. Hoffm.Description
Dichrocephala L'Hér. ex DC.Description
Dicoma Cass.Description
Distephanus Cass.Description
Eclipta L.Description, Image
Elephantopus L.Description
Emilia (Cass.) Cass.Description
Erigeron L.Description, Image
Erythrocephalum Benth.Description
Eschenbachia MoenchImage
Felicia Cass.Description
Galinsoga Ruiz & Pav.Description
Gazania Gaertn.Description
Gerbera Cass.Description, Image
Gnaphalium L.Description
Grangea Adans.Description
Guizotia Cass.Description
Gutenbergia Sch. Bip.Description
Gynura Cass.Description
Haplocarpha Less.Description
Helichrysum Mill.Description, Image
Hirpicium Cass.Description
Hypericophyllum SteetzDescription, Image
Inula L.Description, Image
Kleinia Mill.Description
Lactuca L.Description
Laggera Benth.Description
Launaea Cass.Description
Lipotriche R. Br.Image
Litogyne Harv.Description
Lopholaena DC.Description
Macledium Cass.
Micractis DC.
Microglossa DC.Description
Mikania Willd.Description, Image
Mikaniopsis Milne-Redh.Description
Monactinocephalus KlattImage
Neojeffreya CabreraDescription, Image
Nicolasia S. MooreDescription
Nidorella Cass.Description, Image
Osteospermum L.Description
Pentanema Cass.Description
Pleiotaxis SteetzDescription
Pseudoconyza Cuatrec.Description, Image
Pseudognaphalium Kirp.Description
Schistostephium Less.Description
Sclerocarpus Jacq.Description
Senecio L.Description
Sigesbeckia L.Description, Image
Solanecio (Sch. Bip.) Walp.Description, Image
Sonchus L.Description
Sphaeranthus L.Description
Sphagneticola O. Hoffm.Description
Spilanthes Jacq.Description
Stoebe L.Description
Stomatanthes R.M. King & H. Rob.Description
Tagetes L.Description
Taraxacum F.H. Wigg.Description
Tithonia Desf. ex Juss.Description
Tolpis Adans.Description
Tridax L.Description
Vernonia Schreb.Description
Zinnia 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: 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
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: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Family page: Asteraceae.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=26, retrieved 14 April 2024

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