Asteraceae: The Largest Plant Family On Earth

Three red gerbera daisies

If you have a garden, you likely have one or more members of the aster family (Asteraceae) growing. This is the largest family of flowering plants, with about 1,100 genera and more than 20,000 species. They range from sunflowers and daisies to dandelions, lettuce, and chicory. The only other family of flowering plants with a similar number of species are legumes and orchids. About the Asteraceae Family The Asteraceae family is often called the daisy or sunflower family. It is one of the easiest families to recognize for its distinctive characteristics, in spite of the huge number of individual species. Asteraceae flowers are the most recognizable aspects of this family. The shape and structure of a daisy or sunflower is typical of this family. However, what most people don’t realize is that what we call a flower is actually an inflorescence with multiple flowers. The small flowers are called florets […]

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