Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs or a few shrubs, usually perennials, sometimes annuals. Leaves usually alternate, entire or toothed, occasionally divided. Inflorescence various. Heads variously coloured, usually heterogamous, disciform or radiate with one to many marginal series of mostly female florets, rarely sterile. Involucral bracts imbricate, in many series, mostly with a narrow hyaline margin. Receptacle usually naked, pitted or shortly fimbrillate, rarely paleaceous. Outer florets female or absent; corolla ligulate or tubular, longer or shorter than involucre. Disc floret yellow, hermaphrodite, usually fertile; corolla regular, with five or rarely four teeth or short lobes. Anthers tailless, obtuse at base or rarely sagittate with acute auricles. Style branches of fertile disc florets more or less flattened with terminal papillose or hirsute appendage. Achenes usually small, flat, with nerve like margins, more or less five or more ribbed, becoming terete, rarely winged or beaked. Pappus usually setose, copious, in one or more rows.

Cosmopolitan, mostly in temperate and montane regions; ca 100 genera and ca 2000 species, 18 genera and 83 in India.

Notes. With tailless anthers and appendages of style branches the tribe can be easily distinguished from others. J.D. Hooker (1881) treats five subtribes under the tribe Asteroideae, i.e. Homochromeae, Grangeineae, Bellideae, Heterochromeae and Conyzeae. As the characters of these subtribes are more or less overlapping, the tribe is treated as such without any subdivisions.

Literature. BENTHAM, G. (1873). Notes on the classification, history and geographic distribution of the Compositae. J. Linn. Soc. Lond. Bot. 13: 335-577. t. 8-11. CARLQUIST, S. (1966). Wood Anatomy of Astereae (Compositae). Trop. Woods. 113: 54-84. GRAU, J. (1977). Astereae systematic review. In: HEYWOOD, V.H., J.B. HARBORNE, B.L. TURNER (eds.) The Biology and Chemistry of Compositae Vol. 1: 539-565. HARLING. L. (1951). Embryological studies in the Compositae Part III, Astereae. Acta Horti Berg. 16. 73-120. WAGENITZ, G. (1977). New aspects of the systematics of Asteridae. Pl. Syst. Evol. Suppl. 1: 375-395.


1a. Flowers usually in scorpioid panicles 17. Solidago
b. Flowers usually not in scorpioid panicles 2
2a. Ray florets absent 3
b. Ray florets present 5
3a. Pappus a abort tube with fimbriate mouth 8. Grangea
b. Pappus absent 4
4a. Receptacle with flat top; achenes with thickened margins 6. Dichrocephala
b. Receptacle with conic or convex top; achenes without thickened margins 5. Cyathocline
5a. Pappus scantly very short, of 3-5 caducous bristles or absent, palcaceous 6
b. Pappus hairs usually long, copious (except Kalimeris) 9
6a. Achenes not prominently beaked 13. Myriactis
b. Achenes usually prominently beaked 7
7a. Ray florets 1-seriate 3. Brachycome
b. Ray florets 2-3 -seriate 8
8a. Receptacle flat; disc florets fertile 16. Rhynchospermum
b. Receptacle convex; disc florets often sterile 11. Lagenifera
9a. Heads discifonn or with inconspicuous ray florets, almost as long as or scarcely longer than involucre 10
b. Heads distinctly radiate, ligules clearly longer than involucre 16
10a. Herbs with spreading branches; all flowers tubular 18. Thespis
b. Herbs or shrubs; female flowers tubular or with short ligules 11
11a. Pappus hairs very short, subpaleaceous 10. Kalimeris
b. Pappus hairs long, copious 12
12a. Usually erect, stout herbs 4. Conyza
b. Rambling or erect shurbs 13
13a. Ligules usually long and broad (over 1 cm long, 1 mm broad); disc flowers usually more than 1 mm broad 14
b. Ligules usually smaller and narrower (less than 1 cm long, 1 mm broad); disc flowers usually less than 1 mm broad 15
14a. Usually erect shrubs; leaves 7.5-10.0 cm long 14. Psiadia
b. Usually subscandent shrubs; leaves 3.5-6.0 cm long. 12. Microglossa
15a. Pappus of ray and disc achenes alike 1. Aster
b. Pappus of ray achenes short those of disc longer 9. Heteropappus
16a. Ligules minute (ca 3 mm) 2. Brachyactis
b. Ligules large (ca 5-8 mm) 17
17a. Pappus often double 7. Erigeron
b. Pappus usually 1-seriate 15. Psychrogeton

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