The Asteraceae reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Asteraceae

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Sunflowers
Aster novi-belgii

New York Aster (Aster novi-belgii)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genera
many, #List_of_genera>see text
Ref. ITIS 35420 2002-09-10
For full list, see Kew

The sunflower family or Family Asteraceae (formerly Compositae, also known as the aster family) is a taxon of dicotyledonous flowering plants. The family name comes from the Genus Aster and refers to the star-shaped flower head of its members, typified as well by the daisy. Asteraceae is the largest family in the Magnoliophyta with some 1,100 genera and over 20,000 recognized species. The common characteristic of all these plants—what in common parlance might be called a "flower"—is an inflorescence or flower head: a densely packed cluster of many small, individual flowers, usually called florets (meaning "small flowers").

Plants in the Family Asteraceae typically have one or both of two kinds of florets. The outer perimeter of a flower head like that of a sunflower is composed of florets possessing a long strap-like petal, termed a ligule; these are the ray florets. The inner portion of the flower head (or disc) is composed of small flowers with tubular corollass; these are the disc florets. The composition of asteraceous inflorescences varies from all ray flowers (like dandelions, genus Taraxacum) to all disc flowers (like pineapple weeds).

The composite nature of the inflorescences of these plants led early taxonomists to call this family the Compositae. However, the rules governing naming conventions for plant families state that the name should come from the type genus, in this case Aster—thus Asteraceae. Indeed, this type of flower is no longer even called a "composite flower" as indicated above.

The numerous genera are divided into about 13 tribes. Only one of these, Lactuceae, is considered distinct enough to be a subfamily (Subfamily Cichorioideae); the remainer, which are mostly overlapping, are put in the Subfamily Asteroideae (Wagner, Herbst, and Sohmer, 1990).

A typical Asteraceae flower head (here Bidens torta) showing the individual flowersEnlarge

A typical Asteraceae flower head (here Bidens torta) showing the individual flowers

Many members of Asteracae are copious nectar producers, and are useful for evaluating pollinator populations during their bloom. Centaurea (knapweed), Helianthus annuus (domestic sunflower), and some species of Solidago (goldenrod) are major "honey plants" for beekeepers. Solidago produces relatively high protein pollen, which helps honeybees overwinter.

Guayule—a source of hypoallergenic latex—is in the Asteraceae.

References



List of genera

  Acamptopappus goldenhead
  Acanthospermum starburr
  Achillea yarrow
  Achyrachaena blow wives
  Acmella spotflower
  Acourtia desert peony
  Acroptilon hardheads
      Russian knapweed
  Actinospermum
  Adenocaulon trailplant
  Adenophyllum dogweed
  Adenostemma medicineplant
  Ageratina snakeroot
  Ageratum whiteweed
  Agoseris mountain dandelion
  Almutaster alkalai marsh aster
  Amberboa
  Amblyolepis
  Amblyopappus
  Ambrosia bursage, ragweed
  Ampelaster climbing aster
  Amphiachyris broomweed
  Amphipappus chaffbush
  Anacylus
  Anaphalis pearly everlasting
  Ancistrocarphus neststraw,
      woolly fishhooks
  Anisocoma
  Antennaria pussytoes
  Anthemis Roman chamomile
  Antheropeas Easter bonnets
  Aphanostephus doze daisy
  Arctium burdock
  Arctotheca capeweed
  Arctotis
  Argyranthemum dill daisy
  Argyroxiphium silversword
  Arnica arnica
  Arnoglossum Indian plaintain
  Arnoseris
  Artemisia tarragon, sagebrush,
      sagewort, wormwood, mugwort
  Asanthus brickellbush
  Aster L
  Astranthium western daisy
  Atrichoseris
  Ayapana
  Baccharis
  Bahia
  Baileya desert marigold
  Balduina honeycombhead
  Balsamita
  Balsamorhiza balsamroot
  Baltimora
  Barkleyanthus willow ragwort
  Bartlettia
  Bebbia sweetbush
  Bellis daisy
  Benitoa
  Berkheya
  Berlandiera greeneyes
  Bidens beggartick
      devil's sticktight, Spanish needles
  Bigelowia rayless goldenrod
  Blennosperma stickyseed
  Blepharipappus
  Blepharizonia
  Blumea false oxtongue
  Boltonia doll's daisy
  Borrichia seaside tansy
  Brachyactis rayless aster
  Brachyscombe
  Bradburia
  Brickellia brickelbush
  Brickelliastrum brickellbush
  Brintonia mock goldenrod
  Cacalia Indian plantain
  Cacaliopsis
  Calendula marigold
  Callistephus
  Calotis
  Calycadenia western rosinweed
  Calycoseris tackstem
  Calyptocarpus
  Canadanthus mountain aster
  Carduus plumeless thistle
  Carlina carline thistle
  Carminatia
  Carphephorus chaffhead
  Carphochaete bristlehead
  Carthamus distaff thistle
  Castalis
  Celmisia
  Centaurea knapweed, star thistle
  Centipeda
  Centratherum
  Chaenactis pincushion
  Chaetadelpha skeletonweed
  Chaetopappa least daisy
  Chamaechaenactis
  Chamaemelum dogfennel
  Chamomilla chamomilla
      pineapple weed
  Chaptalia sunbonnetts
  Chloracantha Nesom
  Chondrilla
  Chromolaena thoroughwort
  Chrysactinia
  Chrysanthellum
  Chrysanthemum
  Chrysogonum
  Chrysoma
  Chrysopsis goldenaster
  Chrysothamnus rabbitbrush
  Cichorium chicory
  Cirsium thistle
  Clappia clapdaisy
  Clibadium
  Cnicus blessed thistle
  Columbiadoria
  Complaya
  Condylidium villalba
  Conoclinium thoroughwort
       mistflower
  Conyza horseweed
  Coreocarpus
  Coreopsis tickseed
  Corethrogyne sandaster
  Cosmos
  Cotula L. waterbuttons
  Crassocephalum ragleaf
  Crepis hawksbeard
  Critonia thoroughwort
  Crocidium spring-gold
  Croptilon scratchdaisy
  Crupina
  Cyanopsis knapweed
  Cyanthillium ironweed
  Cymophora
  Cynara artichoke
  Dahlia
  Delairea capeivy
  Dendranthema arctic daisy
  Dichaetophora
  Dicoria twinbugs
  Dicranocarpus
  Dimeresia
  Dimorphotheca cape marigold
  Dittrichia
  Doellingeria whitetop
  Doronicum false leopardbane
  Dracopis coneflower
  Dubautia
  Dugaldia
  Dysodiopsis dogfennel
  Dyssodia dogweed
  Eastwoodia
  Eatonella
  Echinacea coneflower
  Echinops globethistle
  Eclipta
  Egletes tropic daisy
  Elephantopus elephantsfoot
  Eleutheranthera
  Emilia tasselflower
  Encelia brittlebush
  Enceliopsis sunray
  Engelmannia Engelmann's daisy
  Enydra swampwort
  Erechtites burnweed
  Ericameria goldenbush
      heath goldenrod
  Erigeron daisy, fleabane
  Eriophyllum woolly sunflower
  Eucephalus aster, eucephalus
  Euchiton cudweed
  Eupatorium Joe-Pye weed
      thoroughwort, snakeweed
  Euphrosyne
  Eurybia Nees aster
  Euryops
  Euthamia goldentop
  Evax pygmy cudweed
  Ewartia
  Facelis trampweed
  Filago cottonrose
  Fitchia
  Flaveria yellowtops
  Fleischmannia thoroughwort
  Florestina
  lourensia tarwort
  Flyriella brickellbush
  Gaillardia blanketflower
  Galinsoga gallant-soldier
  Gamochaeta everlasting
  Garberia
  Gazania
  Geraea desert sunflower
  Gerbera Transvaal daisy
  Glyptopleura
  Gnaphalium cudweed
  Gochnatia
  Grindelia gumweed
  Guardiola
  Guizotia
  Gundelia
  Gundlachia
  Gutierrezia snakeweed
  Gymnosperma Less.
  Gymnostyles burrweed
  Gynura Cass.
  Haplocarpha onefruit
  Haploesthes false broomweed
  Hartwrightia
  Hasteola false Indian plantain
  Hazardia bristleweed
  Hebeclinium thoroughwort
  Hecastocleis
  Hedypnois
  Helenium sneezeweed
  Helianthella
  Helianthus sunflowers
  Helichrysum strawflower,everlasting
  Heliomeris false goldeneye
  Heliopsis
  Helminthia
  Helminthotheca (obsolete)
  Hemizonia tarweed
  Herrickia
  Hesperevax dwarf-cudweed
  Hesperodoria glowweed
  Hesperomannia island-aster
  Heteranthemis oxeye
  Heterosperma
  Heterotheca false goldenaster
   telegraph plant
  Hieracium hawkweed
  Hofmeisteria
  Holocarpha tarweed
  Holozonia
  Hulsea alpinegold
  Hymenoclea burrobrush, burrobush
  Hymenopappus
  Hymenothrix thimblehead
  Hymenoxys rubberweed
  Hypochaeris catsear

  Ichthyothere
  Inula yellowhead
  Ionactis aster
  Isocarpha pearlhead
  Isocoma goldenbush, jimmyweed
  Iva marshelder, sumpweed
  Ixeris
  Jamesianthus
  Jaumea
  Jefea
  Kalimeris aster
  Keysseria
  Koanophyllon thoroughwort
  Koyamacalia
  Krigia dwarfdandelion
  Lactuca lettuce
  Laennecia laennecia, laennicia
  Lagascea
  Lagenifera island-daisy
  Lagophylla hareleaf
  Lapsana nipplewort
  Lapsanastrum nipplewort
  Lasianthaea
  Lasiospermum cocoonhead
  Lasthenia goldfields
  Launaea
  Layia tidytips
  Leibnitzia sunbonnets
  Lembertia
  Leontodon hawkbit
  Lepidospartum broomsage
  Leptorhynchos scaly button
  Lessingia vinegarweed
  Leucanthemella
  Leucanthemopsis
  Leucanthemum daisy, oxeye daisy
  Leucochrysum sunray
  Liatris blazing star, gay feather
  Lindheimera
  Lipochaeta nehe
  Litrisa
  Logfia cottonrose
  Luina silverback
  Lygodesmia skeleton weed
  Machaeranthera goldenweed
      tansyaster
  Madia tarweed
  Malacothrix desert dandelion
  Malperia
  Mantisalca
  Marshallia Barbara's buttons
  Matricaria mayweed
  Megalodonta watermarigold
  Melampodium blackfoot
  Melanthera squarestem
  Micropus cottonseed
  Microseris silverpuffs, yam daisy
  Mikania hempvine
  Monolopia
  Monoptilon desertstar
  Montanoa
  Mycelis
  Neurolaena
  Nicolletia hole-in-the-sand
  Nothocalais prairie-dandelion
  Notobasis syrian thistle
  Oclemena aster
  Olearia daisy bush
  Oligoneuron goldenrod
  Omalotheca arctic cudweed
  Oncosiphon
  Onopordum cotton thistle
  Oonopsis false goldenweed
  Oreochrysum goldenrod
  Oreostemma aster
  Orochaenactis
  Osmadenia Nutt.
  Osteospermum daisybush
  Ozothamnus
  Packera ragwort
  Palafoxia palafox
  Pallenis
  Parantennaria
  Parasenecio Indian plantain
  Parthenice
  Parthenium feverfew
  Pascalia
  Pectis cinchweed, fetid marigold
  Pentachaeta pygmy daisy
  Pentzia
  Perezia
  Pericallis ragwort
  Pericome
  Perityle rock daisy
  Petasites butterbur
  Petradoria rock goldenrod
  Peucephyllum pygmy cedar
  Phalacroseris mock dandelion
  Phoebanthus false sunflower
  Picradeniopsis bahia
  Picris oxtongue
  Picrothamnus bud sagebrush
  Pinaropappus rock lettuce
  Piptocarpha ash daisy
  Piptocoma velvetshrub
  Pityopsis silkgrass
  Platyschkuhria basindaisy
  Pleurocoronis
  Pluchea camphorweed, fleabane
  Plummera
  Podocoma
  Podolepis
  Polymnia
  Porophyllum poreleaf
  Prenanthella
  Prenanthes rattlesnakeroot
  Prionopsis
  Proustia
  Psacalium Indianbush
  Psathyrotes turtleback
  Pseudelephantopus dog's-tongue
  Pseudobahia sunburst
  Pseudoclappia false clapdaisy
  Pseudognaphalium false cudweed
      cudweed
  Pseudogynoxys
  Psilactis tansyaster
  Psilocarphus woollyheads
  Psilostrophe paperflower
  Pterocaulon blackroot
  Pulicaria false fleabane
  Pyrrhopappus desert chicory
  Pyrrocoma goldenweed
  Pycnosorus billy buttons, craspedia
  Rafinesquia California chicory
  Raillardella silvermat
  Raillardiopsis
  Rainiera
  Ratibida prairie coneflower
  Rayjacksonia tansyaster
  Reichardia brighteyes
  Remya
  Rhagadiolus
  Rhodanthe sunray
  Rigiopappus
  Rolandra yerba de plata
  Roldana groundsel
  Rudbeckia coneflower
  Rugelia Rugel's Indian plantain
  Sachsia
  Salmea bejuco de miel
  Santolina lavender cotton
  Sanvitalia creeping zinnia
  Sartwellia glowwort
  Saussurea saw-wort
  Schkuhria false threadleaf
  Sclerocarpus bonebract
  Sclerolepis bogbutton
  Scolymus golden thistle
  Scorzonera
  Senecio groundsel, ragwort
  Sericocarpus whitetop aster
  Serratula plumeless saw-wort
  Shinnersia
  Shinnersoseris beaked skeletonweed
  Sigesbeckia St. Paul's wort
  Silphium rosinweed
  Silybum milk thistle
  Simsia bush sunflower
  Smallanthus
  Solidago goldenrod
  Soliva burrweed
  Sonchus sow thistle, sowthistle
  Sphaeromeria chickensage
  Sphagneticola creeping-oxeye
  Spilanthes toothache flower
  Spiracantha dogwoodleaf
  Stebbinsoseris silverpuffs
  Stenotus mock goldenweed
  Stephanomeria wire lettuce
  Stevia candyleaf
  Stokesia
  Struchium
  Stylocline neststraw
  Symphyotrichum aster
  Synedrella
  Synedrellopsis
  Synosma
  Syntrichopappus Fremont's gold
  Tagetes marigold
  Tamaulipa boneset
  Tanacetum tansy
  Taraxacum dandelion
  Tephroseris groundsel
  Tetradymia horsebrush
  Tetragonotheca nerveray
  Tetramolopium
  Tetraneuris four-nerve daisy
  Thelechitonia.
  Thelesperma greenthread
  Thurovia
  Thymophylla pricklyleaf
  Tithonia
  Tolpis umbrella milkwort
  Tonestus serpentweed
  Townsendia Townsend daisy
  Tracyina Indian headdress
  Tragopogon goat's beard, salsify
  Trichocoronis bugheal
  Trichoptilium
  Tridax
  Trilisa
  Trimorpha boreal daisy
  Tripleurospermum mayweed
  Tripolium sea aster
  Trixis threefold
  Tussilago coltsfoot
  Uropappus silverpuffs
  Urospermum
  Vanclevea
  Varilla
  Venegasia
  Venidium
  Verbesina crownbeard
  Vernonia ironweed
  Viguiera goldeneye
  Wedelia creepingoxeye
  Whitneya
  Wilkesia iliau
  Wollastonia
  Wyethia mule-ears
  Xanthisma sleepydaisy
  Xanthium cocklebur
  Xanthocephalum
  Xylorhiza woody aster
  Yermo desert yellowhead
  Youngia
  Zaluzania
  Zexmenia
  Zinnia
and about 1050 more.