composite family


composite family
the large and varied plant family Compositae (or Asteraceae), typified by herbaceous plants having alternate, opposite, or whorled leaves and a whorl of bracts surrounding the flower heads, which are usually composed of a disk containing tiny petalless flowers and a ray of petals extending from the flowers at the rim of the disk, some flower heads being composed only of a disk or a ray and some plants having clusters of flower heads, and including the aster, daisy, dandelion, goldenrod, marigold, ragweed, sunflower, thistle, and zinnia.

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Family Compositae, one of the largest plant families (also known as Asteraceae, daisy family, and aster family), which contains more than 1,100 genera and almost 20,000 species of herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees, found throughout the world.

Though diverse in habit and habitat, composites tend to grow in sunlit places in temperate and subtropical regions. The family includes many garden ornamentals, including ageratums, asters, chrysanthemums, cosmos, dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias. Some genera include weeds such as dandelion, ragweed, and thistle. Artemisia, artichoke, endive, safflower, salsify, lettuce, and sunflower are important for the products derived from their flowers, seeds, leaves, roots, or tubers. Flower heads in this family are composed of many small flowers (florets) surrounded by bracts. Bell-shaped disk florets form the centre of each head; strap-shaped ray florets extend out like petals from the centre and are sometimes reflexed (bent back). Some species have flowers with only disk or only ray florets.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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