Daisy family

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Daisy family
Marguerite (Leucanthemum vulgare), Asteroideae, illustration: (2) zygomorphic ray flower with three corolla lobes, (3), (4) and (5) radially symmetrical tubular flower

Marguerite ( Leucanthemum vulgare ), Asteroideae ,
illustration: (2) zygomorphic ray flower with three corolla lobes, (3), (4) and (5) radially symmetrical tubular flower

Nuclear eudicotyledons
Euasterids II
Order : Astern-like (Asterales)
Family : Daisy family
Scientific name
Bercht. & J. Presl

The daisy family (botanically Asteraceae or Compositae ), also called daisy family , aster family or cap flower family, are the largest family of the order of the aster-like (Asterales) within the flowering plants (Magnoliopsida). About 10% of the species of flowering plants belong to the Asteraceae. The German name composites and the botanical name Compositae ( Latin for 'compound') are derived from the shape of the inflorescence .

The Asteraceae family contains around 1,600 to 1,700 genera with around 24,000 species and is represented worldwide on all continents, except for Antarctica , in all climatic zones . In Europe it is one of the most species-rich plant families.

Variety of flower heads in the Asteraceae:
1. Anthemis tinctoria (Asteroideae),
2. Glebionis coronaria ( Asteroideae ),
3. Coleostephus myconis (Asteroideae),
4. Chrysanthemum spec. (Herbaceous),
5. Sonchus oleraceus ( Cichorioideae )
6. Cichorium intybus (Cichorioideae)
7. Gazania rigens (Cichorioideae)
8. Tithonia rotundifolia (herbaceous),
9. Calendula arvensis (herbaceous),
Leucanthemum vulgare (Asteroideae ), 11. Hieracium lachenalii (Cichorioideae), 12. Osteospermum ecklonis (Asteroideae)


Appearance and leaves

There are mostly one to two years or perennial herbaceous plant species, but there are also woody species: subshrubs and shrubs , rarely vines or trees . There are monocarpic and polycarpic species. There are species in almost every type of habitat , only a few species grow as real epiphytes or aquatic plants. In some taxa , the plants contain milky sap .

The arrangement of the leaves is mostly alternate, rarely opposite or whorled; they are often combined into a basal rosette. The stalked to sessile leaves rarely have simple, often pinnate to pinnate leaf blades. They are herbaceous to leathery, sometimes they are transformed into thorns . The leaf margin is smooth, wavy, lobed, serrate, serrated or toothed. There are usually no stipules present.


In different, differently structured total inflorescences, the flower heads stand on more or less leafless inflorescence shafts or they stand individually.

The cup-shaped inflorescences are typical of this family . The bracts surround the flower heads and form the involucre ("calyx"). The conically elongated or flattened inflorescence axis , the flower base, the flower bed (Clinanthium, Phoranthium), of the individual flowers, which together form the flower head (Calathium, Anthodium), is glabrous and smooth or hairy. The bottom of the cup can have seated, scale-shaped bracts , the so-called chaff leaves (Palea).

A flower head contains one to a thousand flowers, depending on the species. The flowers of a flower head develop and bloom from the outside to the inside (centripetal).


The hermaphroditic or unisexual flowers are usually five-fold. The sepals are partially or completely reduced, in many taxa they are transformed into a characteristic fringe of hair or, less often, a membranous border; this flying machine for the fruit is called pappus . The petals are fused to form a tube. There is only one circle with three to five fertile stamens . The stamens are short. The anthers (anthers) are fused into a tube and form a typical feature of the family. Two carpels have become an under constant ovary grown. The stylus , with always two stylus branches, push through the anthers tube and push the pollen out of the tube with purging hairs that are located on the outside or at the tip of the stylus. Only then will the scar become fertile.

Achenes with pappus from Centaurea cyanus

There are two basic flower shapes in the family: radially symmetrical tubular flowers (disc flowers) and zygomorphic ray flowers (ray flowers). Depending on the subfamily, both flower forms are present together or just one of them.

The flower formula is or .


The fruit is usually a special form of a nut, the achene , usually with a pappus that can be in the form of scales, bristles or hair.

Pollen grains of the sunflower ( Helianthus annuus ). Most of the Asteraceae are pollinated by insects; the prickly surface, which gives them support, helps.


The flower heads look like individual flowers and also function as a whole to attract pollinators from an ecological point of view . These are flowers in which many, small individual flowers are grouped together, so they form a pseudanthium . At the edge of the basket flowers arranged florets often reinforce the impression that it is in the inflorescence is a single bloom.


The pollination is mainly by insects or by the wind.

The unit of spread ( diaspore ) is the achene . The achenes are spread either by the wind through the flying hair or by animals. The involucral leaves form z. B. with the great burdock ( Arctium lappa ) hooks at the tip, which get caught in the fur of mammals or in the clothing of humans, only to fall off again later at another point. This is a special form of zoochory called epizoochory .


Many species are rich in essential oils that are found in very characteristic glandular scales. Inulin is often formed as a reserve substance .


Individual species of the Asteraceae family and especially their cultivated forms are used in a variety of ways. Here is an incomplete list with the plant part that is mainly used:

Shiny marigold, Mexican tarragon ( Tagetes lucida )
As a salad or vegetable:
  • Chicory ( Cichorium intybus var. Foliosum ): Leaf
  • Endive salad ( Cichorium endivia ): leaf
  • Cardy or vegetable artichoke ( Cynara cardunculus) : inflorescence
  • Artichoke ( Cynara scolymus ): inflorescence
  • Jerusalem artichoke or earth pear ( Helianthus tuberosus ): tuber
  • Lettuce ( Lactuca sativa convar. Sativa ): leaf
  • Black salsify ( Scorzonera hispanica ): root
  • Yacon ( Smallanthus sonchifolia ): root
  • Mexican tarragon ( Tagetes lucida )
  • Dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale ): root, leaf
  • Oat root ( Tragopon porrifolium ): root
As a medicinal and aromatic plant:
For the extraction of vegetable oils:
Ornamental plants:

A great abundance of species and their varieties are used as ornamental plants in all parts of the world. They are planted in parks and gardens or serve as cut and dried flowers.

Development history

Asteraceae fossil finds are mostly pollen deposits and fruits. There are only a few pollen records from the Eocene , but from the Oligocene and Miocene , the pollen of the Asteraceae is common. The importance of the family in the earth's ecosystems has increased from the Middle Oligocene to the present day.

Recently, pollen fossil finds and molecular genetic studies (of ndhF and rbcL genes) have been used to uncover the origin of the Asteraceae. Bremer and Gustafsson 1997 or Kim et al. 2005 concluded that the origin is at least 38 million years ago, probably in the Middle Eocene (42 to 47 million years ago).

The current distribution of the closest related families Goodeniaceae and Calyceraceae and the basal and isolated subfamily Barnadesioideae suggest that the origin of the family was on Gondwana in what is now South America , Antarctica and Australia .

Subfamily Asteroideae : Sunflower ( Helianthus annuus )
Subfamily Barnadesioideae : Chuquiraga oppositifolia
Subfamily Carduoideae : Cornflower ( Centaurea cyanus )
Subfamily Cichorioideae : Mauerlattich ( Mycelis muralis ), the five corolla lobes of the yellow, zygomorphic ray-flowers and the two-part stigmas of the
pistil are nice to see
Subfamily Gochnatioideae : Cyclolepis genistoides
Subfamily Gymnarrhenoideae : Gymnarrhena micrantha
Subfamily Hecastocleioideae: Hecastocleis shockleyi
Subfamily Mutisioideae : Trixis californica
Subfamily Pertyoideae : Pertya scandens
Subfamily Stifftioideae : Stifftia chrysantha
Subfamily Wunderlichioideae : Wunderlichia mirabilis


The Asteraceae family contains around 1600 to 1700 genera with around 24,000 species . According to phylogenetic knowledge, twelve subfamilies were introduced, which contain a total of about 43 tribes .

  • Subfamily Asteroideae Lindl. : It is the largest subfamily with about 65% of the species. It contains about 20 tribes, 1135 genera with about 16,200 species, with worldwide distribution. In addition to tubular flowers, ray florets are often found on the edge of the inflorescence. The ray-florets have three corolla lobes:
  • Subfamily Barnadesioideae (D.Don) Bremer & Jansen : It is the basal group of the family and the sister group to all other Asteraceae and contains around 88 species about 1% of the species of the Asteraceae. It contains only one tribe:
    • Tribus Barnadesieae D.Don : It contains nine genera with about 94 mostly woody species. With a distribution only in South America, especially in the Andes. The corolla tube is two-lipped (lip or tongue) (one lip / tongue is formed from four petals, the other from one petal):
      • Arnaldoa Cabrera : The three or so species occur in South America.
      • Barnadesia Mutis ex L. f. : It contains about 19 species in South America, particularly in the tropical Andes.
      • Chuquiraga Juss. (Syn .: Johannia Willd. ): It contains about 22 species in the Andes and Patagonia.
      • Dasyphyllum Kunth (Syn .: Flotovia Spreng. ): It contains about 41 species in Chile.
      • Doniophyton Wedd. : There are about two species in South America.
      • Duseniella K. Schum. : It contains only one type:
      • Fulcaldea Poir. : It contains only one type:
      • Huarpea Cabrera : it contains only one species:
      • Bad endalia Less. (Syn .: Chamissomneia Kuntze ): It contains only one species:
  • Subfamily Carduoideae Sweet : It contains four tribe, 83 genera with over 2,700 species, with worldwide distribution, most species in the northern hemisphere . There are only tubular flowers:
  • Subfamily Cichorioideae Chev. : It contains about 15% of the species, in about seven tribe, 224 genera and 3600 species, with a worldwide distribution. The inflorescences contain only ray flowers in the representatives occurring in Central Europe. The tongue is made up of five corolla lobes:
  • Subfamily Corymbioideae Panero & Funk : It contains only one tribe:
  • Subfamily Gochnatioideae Panero & Funk : It contains only one tribe:
    • Tribus Gochnatieae (Benth. & Hook. F.) Panero & VAFunk : It contains four to five genera with around 90 species. The pappus consists of bristles:
      • Cnicothamnus Griseb. : It contains only two species in Bolivia and Argentina.
      • Cyclolepis Gillies ex D.Don : It contains only one species:
      • Gochnatia Kunth (Syn .: Pentaphorus D.Don ): It contains about 72 species in the Neotropic.
      • Leucomeris D.Don : It contains only one species:
      • Richterago Kuntze : It contains about six species in Brazil.
  • Subfamily Gymnarrhenoideae Panero & VAFunk : It contains only one tribe:
    • Gymnarrheneae Panero & VAFunk : It contains only one genus:
      • Gymnarrhena Desf. : Contains only one to six species, with a distribution from North Africa to the Middle East.
  • Subfamily Hecastocleioideae Panero & Funk : It contains only one tribe:
    • Tribe Hecastocleideae: It contains only one genus ( monogeneric taxon):
      • Hecastocleis A.Gray : It contains only one species:
        • Hecastocleis shockleyi A.Gray : It occurs in the southwestern USA. The flower head contains only one flower and the pappus consists of scales.
  • Subfamily Mutisioideae Lindl. : It contains three to four tribes and 44 genera with 630 species, mainly in South America, but also in Africa, Asia and Australia. The corolla tube is two-lipped (lip or tongue) (one lip / tongue is formed from two, the other from three petals.):
  • Subfamily Pertyoideae Panero & Funk : It contains only one tribe:
    • Tribe Pertyeae Panero & VAFunk : It contains five to six genera with 70 species from Afghanistan to eastern Asia. The corolla tube is deep, unevenly divided:
      • Ainsliaea DC. : It contains almost 70 species from eastern Asia to western Malesia.
      • Catamixis Thomson : It contains only one species:
      • Diaspananthus Miq. : It contains only one type:
      • Macroclinidium Maxim. : It contains about seven species mainly in Japan.
      • Myripnois Bunge : It contains about three species in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.
      • Pertya Sch.Bip. : The approximately 23 species are distributed in Afghanistan, Thailand, China and Japan. There are 17 species in China, 16 of them only there.
  • Subfamily Stifftioideae Panero : It contains only one tribe:
    • Tribus Stifftieae D.Don : It contains ten to eleven genera with around 40 species in the Andes and northeastern South America.
  • Subfamily Wunderlichioideae Panero & Funk : It contains two tribes and about eight genera and 24 species in eastern South America and southwestern China:
    • Tribe Hyalideae Panero : It contains about three genera:
      • Hyalis D. Don ex Hook. & Arn. : It contains only two species in South America.
      • Ianthopappus Rogue & DJNHind : It contains only one species:
      • Nouelia Franch. : It contains only one type:
        • Nouelia insignis franch. : It thrives at altitudes between 1000 and 2900 meters in the Chinese provinces of southwest Sichuan and Yunnan.
    • Tribus Wunderlichieae Panero & VAFunk : It contains about four genera with almost 40 species in South America:
      • Chimantaea Maguire et al. : The nine or so species occur in Venezuela and Guyana .
      • Stenopadus S.F.Blake : It contains about 14 species mainly on the Guiana shield.
      • Stomatochaeta (SFBlake) Maguire & Wurdack : The roughly six species occur in Venezuela, northern Brazil and Guyana.
      • Wunderlichia Riedel ex Benth. & Hook. f. : The approximately nine species occur in Brazil.

Pedigree according to Panero & Funk 2008:

Daisy family (Asteraceae)


Individual evidence

  1. Useful plants of the Asteraceae, p. 25, in Small useful plant systematics (internship) by Christoph Reisdorff & Reinhard Lieberei, University of Hamburg - Biozentrum Klein Flottbek. ( Memento of the original from February 1, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file; 229 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de
  2. ^ Jose L. Panero: Economically Important Sunflowers .
  3. Jose L. Panero, Bonnie S. Crozier, 2008: Entry in the Tree of Life project .
  4. ML DeVore, TF Stuessy: The place and time of origin of the Asteraceae with additional comments on the Calyceraceae and Goodeniaceae. In: DJN Hind et al. (Ed.): Advances in Compositae Systematics , 1995, pp. 23-40.
  5. Asteraceae in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
  6. Family tree in the Tree of Life project .

Web links

Commons : Aster family  - Collection of images, videos and audio files