Superkingdom Eukaryota
Kingdom Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta (formerly Phylum Tracheophyta)
Class Magnoliopsida (formerly Class Angiospermae)
Subclass Asteridae (formerly Subclass Dicotyledonae)
Order Asterales
Family Compositae (also Asteraceae)

The composite family is the largest, most diverse plant family known.  It contains 1500+ genera and 15000+ species, including many familiar flowers and vegetables.  All composites share a single characteristic: their flowers are grouped into heads, with enlarged sepals or bracts taking the place of petals.

If one is to follow the modern convention of naming a suprageneric group after a a "type" genus, this family should be named Asteraceae, and indeed this name appears in much of the scientific literature.

This family contains so many genera that it would be pointless to list them all in one writeup. In this instance, the family's tribes become important for organizing all of the genera; there should be a node for each tribe.  Not surprisingly, some botanists elevate each tribe to a family of its own; to find a family name, remove the -eae part from the end and tack on -aceae.

Subfamily Asteroideae:

Subfamily Barnadesioideae:

Subfamily Lactucoideae (Cichorioideae):

James L. Reveal, PBIO 450 Lecture Notes, Selected Families of Angiosperms: Asteridae

Asteraceae, Families of Vascular plants, Botany 307, University of Toronto,

L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz (1992 onwards). The Families of Flowering Plants: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. Version: 14th December 2000.

List of genera in Compositae

Com*pos"i*tae (?), n. pl. [NL., from L. compositus made up of parts. See Composite.] Bot.

A large family of dicotyledonous plants, having their flowers arranged in dense heads of many small florets and their anthers united in a tube. The daisy, dandelion, and asters, are examples.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.