Asteraceae  Bercht. & J. Presl, 1820 nom. cons. (also known as Compositae)

pronounced: ass-ter-AY-see-eye

the daisy family

Asteraceae is derived from the Greek αστηρ (astér), a star. This is one of the largest of all the plant families, with something like 20,000 – 25,000 species worldwide. It is highly relevant to human life, as it includes economic, culinary and medicinal plants such as sunflower, lettuce, chicory, artichoke, chamomile, absinthe and tarragon, as well as numerous ornamentals and many plants that are considered to be weeds. The main characteristic of the daisy family is the inflorescence. What appears at first sight to be a single flower is actually a composite of many smaller flowers. There are hundreds of tiny flowers growing on a disk, each producing only one seed. Each disk floret has 5 tiny petals fused together, plus 5 stamens fused around a pistil with antennae-like stigmas. Each big “petal” of those that ring the outside of the flower head is also a flower, known as a ray floret, with its petals fused together and hanging to one side. Plants may produce disk florets or ray florets or both. What appear to be sepals outside the flower head are actually bracts, modified leaves.

Ageratum houstonianum - Blue Billygoat Weed

Artemesia dracunculus - Tarragon

Blumea axillaris - Pink Blumea

Blumea mollis (syn.) - Pink Blumea

Calyptocarpus vialis - Creeping Cinderella Weed

Chrysanthemum sp. - Chrysanthemum

Crepis japonica (syn.) - Japanese Hawkweed

Cyanthillium cinereum - Purple Fleabane

Eclipta prostrata - False Daisy

Emilia sonchifolia- Lilac Tasselflower

Epaltes australis (syn.) - Spreading Nut-heads

Gamochaeta pensylvanica - Cudweed

Gazania sp. - Gazania

Gerbera jamesonii - Gerbera

Gnaphalium pensylvanicum (syn.) - Cudweed

Helianthus annuus - Sunflower

Lactuca sativa - Lettuce

Peripleura scabra - Tall Fuzzweed

Pterocaulon serrulatum - Rag Weed

Pterocaulon sphacelatum - Apple Bush

Sigesbeckia orientalis - St. Paul's-wort

Sonchus oleraceus - Sow Thistle

Sphaeromorphaea australis - Spreading Nut-heads

Sphagneticola trilobata - Singapore Daisy

Synedrella nodiflora - Cinderella Weed

Synedrella vialis (syn.) - Creeping Cinderella Weed

Tagetes patula - French Marigold

Tridax procumbens - Tridax Daisy

Verbesina nodiflora (syn.) - Cinderella Weed

Vernonia cinerea (syn.) - Purple Fleabane

Vittadinia scabra (syn.) - Tall Fuzzweed

Wedelia trilobata (syn.) - Singapore Daisy

Youngia japonica - Japanese Hawkweed

Zinnea elegans - Zinnea

Photograph © Donald Simpson 2008

Page last updated 21st September 2014







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