Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, or undershrubs, annual, biennial or perennial with white or yellow latex; roots simple or with a stout rootstock; stems very variable, erect or ascending, glabrous or hispid or even glandualr hairy, sometimes grooved, simple or branched. Leaves very variable, radical as well as cauline, sometimes rosulate, spathulate; entire or dentate, variously toothed, lobed, pinnate, pinnatifid or runcinate-pinnatifid, sessile or petioled, ovate, oblong, linear, linear-lanceolate, oblanceolate or linear-oblong, hastate, sometimes base sagittate or stem clasping; petiole simple or winged or auricled. Heads homogamous, in axillary or in panicled cymes or umbels, terminal, erect or drooping, variously shaped. Involucral bracts 1-many seriate; outer bracts usually ovate or ovate-lanceolate, linear-lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate or linear-oblong, glabrous or hairy, sometimes with scarious margins. Florets allligulate, hermaphrodite, all fertile; corolla various in colours, 5-toothed, rarely 4-toothed. Stamens 5, appendaged, slender; anthers acute or acuminate, base sagittate. Style branches slender, acute or obtuse stigma bifid, equal, shorter or longer than corolla. Achenes variable, rugose or tuberculate, usually ribbed, truncate or beaked. Pappus simple or feathery, 1-few seriate.

Considerable confusion prevails over the terminology of the tribe as used by different workers. They are a natural group, most distinctive and easily recognizable subdivision of the family Asteraceae. The treatment of the tribe as a separate family Cichoriaceae as has been done by some authors is not justified. Although the Cichorieae cannot be closely allied to any other single tribe of Asteraceae, the basic characters such as, the head inflorescence, the nature of the achenes, the presence of pappus etc. advocate the inclusion of Cichorieae as a tribe of the family Asteraceae.

The tribe Lactuceae as recognised by Cassini (1819) should have had priority over the tribe Cichorieae (Dumortier, 1829) but when the subfamily Cichorioideae is recognised, the tribe Cichorieae based on the type genus Cichorium L. automatically becomes valid.

The sub-divisions of the tribe Cichorieae is also not unanimous. Most authors recognise eight distinct subtribes but again the terminology applied to these subtribes also vary from author to author. George Bentham who is considered to be one of the outstanding workers on the Asteraceae of the 19th century, has not attempted any subdivisions of the tribe Cichorieae. Hoffmann (1891) recognises only five subtribes as also Jussieu (1789). However in the present work we have just followed Hooker's (1881) treatment.

Literature. BENTHAM, G. (1873). Notes on the Classification, History and Geographical Distribution of Compositae. in Linn. J. Bot. 19: 335-577. BOISSIER E. (1875). Compositae-Liguliflorae in Flora Orientalis 3: 711-883. CANDOLLE, A.DE(1838). Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis 7: 74-252. CLARKE, C.B. (1876). Compositae Indicae. CRONQUIST, A. (1955). Phylogeny and Taxonomy of the Compositae in Amer. Mid. Nat. 53(2): 478-511. HOFFMANN, O. (1891). Liguliflorae-Cichorieae in ENGLER, A. & PRANTL, K. Die naturalichen Pflanzen-familien 4, 5: 350-387. HOOKER, J.D. (1881). Flora of British India, Vol. 3. JEFFREY, C. (1966). Notes on Compositae I. The Cichorieae in East Tropical Africa in Kew Bull. 18: 427-486. LESSING, C.F. (1832). Synopsis generum Compositarum 2: 219-223 et 504-533. SOLBRIG, O.T. (1936b). The tribes of Compositae in the Southeastern United States. J. Arn. Arb. 44: 436-461. STEBBINS, G.L. Jr. (1953). A new classification of the tribe Cichorieae, family Compositae in Madrona 12: 33-64, 65-81. STEBBINS, G.L. Jr., JENKINS, J.A .L. & WALTER, M.S. (1953). Chromosomes and phylogeny in the Compositae, tribe Cichorieae in Univ. Calif, Publ. Bot. 26: 401-430. 13. TOMB, A.S. (1972). The systematic significance of pollen morphology in the family compositae, tribe Cichorieae. Brittonia 24(2): 129.


1a. Scapigerous herbs. 4. HYPOCHOERIDEAE
b. Non scapigerous or rarely scapigerous 2
2a. Pappus absent or with alternating hairs 3
b. Pappus present, simple or feathery 5
3a. Achenes truncate; heads terminal, axillary, sessile 3. HYOSERIDEAE
b. Achenes beaked or narrowed upwards; heads panicled, peduncled 4
4a. Achenes incurved or elongate, spinous or smooth 7. RHAGADIOLEAE
b. Achenes obtuse, not incurved or rarely curved, strongly ribbed 6. LAPSANEAE
5a. Leaves usually with broad, rounded sheathing bases; achenes very long, usually strongly muricate; pappus feathery 8. SCORZONEREAE
b. Leaves without sheathing base; achenes rather short; smooth or scabrous or rarely muricate; pappus simple, rarely feathery 6
6a. Perennial herbs, more or less stellately hairy; achenes truncate 2. HIERACIEAE
b. Annual, or perennial herbs, without stellate hairs; achenes beaked or truncate 7
7a. Plants mostly with radical leaves; achenes usually contracted at both ends, 10-many ribbed 1. CREPIDEAE
b. Plants with radical as well as cauline leaves; achenes distinctly beaked or truncate, 3-20 ribbed 5. LACTUCEAE

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