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Topic in Depth - Asteraceae, a.k.a. Sunflower Family (8)

The Family Asteraceae (a.k.a. Compositae, Composite, Sunflower, Aster) is an impressively large and diverse family of flowering plants (circa 20,000 species). This Topic in Depth offers an assemblage of sites that provide images of, and introductory information about, this remarkable family.

National Sunflower Association Research Forum Papers
The National Sunflower Association (NSA) offers downloadable papers presented at the annual NSA Research Forum from 2002 onwards. Available search fields include year, author, keyword (s), and categories like Bird Predation, Insects, Quality, and Weeds.

Asteraceae: Wildflowers of the Aster/Sunflower Family (Composite/Compositae)
This site (part of naturalist Thomas J. Elpel's larger Wildflowers and Weeds website) exhibits clear photographs of members of the Dandelion Subfamily; and members of a number of tribes in the Aster Subfamily such as the Artichoke Tribe, Chamomile Tribe, Groundsel Tribe, and Sunflower Tribe.

Composite Flowers
This site, part of Jim Conrad's Backyard Nature Plant web page, discusses this very large family of plants, which includes the sunflower, dandelion, and chrysanthemum. Here you will find information about the composite family's flower structure and the three kinds of composite flowers: ray only, disk only, and ray...

Family: Asteraceae
This site from Dave's Garden (a Texas-based software company) provides a multitude of images and profiles of members of Asteraceae that are used in gardening with information about spacing, sun exposure, hardiness zones, bloom time, and more. Look for the Chocolate Cosmos, Cosmos atrosanguieneus!

Flower Dissection LabPDF
From Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, this site presents a simple Flower Dissection Lab using orchids and composite flowers. This pdf document contains the materials needed and instructions for the lab, as well as a worksheet for students to complete as they dissect their flower.

Asteraceae / Compositae (Daisy Family)
This site, from Iziko Museums of Cape Town, provides basic information about "Tribes in the Asteraceae that occur in southern Africa." An alphabetical list of genera is available as well. Visitors will also find specific species used as food or herbs, and garden species that grow in southern Africa but are not native...

Native Plant Information Network (NPIN) Image Gallery
An excellent, very well-organized resource, this Image Gallery website was created by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center -- Native Plant Information Network. The Image Gallery hosts "a collection of over 17,000 plant images representing 176 Plant Families and 4,443 individual species." Site users can search for...

The Flowering Plant Gateway
Biological classification systems provide a structural framework through which scientists explore patterns of affinity and phyletic relationships. In an attempt to anchor the "growing mass of Internet data" on flowering plant families to stable taxonomic structures, Texas A&M University Bioinformatics Working Group...

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