Talk:Asteraceae/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


I hope that I'm not screwing up the template for plants too much. But I couldn't understand what was going on before I changed the introduction. (What's Asteraceae, for example?) In particular, the article didn't begin with a definition! -- Toby 01:22 Apr 16, 2003 (UTC)

Note: Content was moved from Composite family. --Jiang 22:48, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Article names

I've written a brief page on Joe-Pye weed, which I have studied and photographed. I expect to add a photo or two, and more information. But I have a question. Should not the plant species be listed by their genus and species names, with cross reference to the common names? I suppose this can be done through the list on this page, but it doesn't seem to me to be the most convenient way to do it. There are several species of Eupatorium. The question is important to me, as I hope to add a number of wildflower species in the future. Pollinator 17:50, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC) answer.... guess we are "on our own." -- Pollinator 17:50, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Hello Pollinator. No answer because you need to wait until someone interested in that page sees your entry ;) (I have it on my watch list). Unfortunately, although I have broadband, Wikipedia is nearly impossible to work on at this time of day. I've spent over 15 minutes getting logged on and just getting to this page. First, as to names: It is policy around here to put the plants up under common name if they have one (i.e., Joe-Pye weed). If there are several species in the same genus, you can discuss them on that same page if they have no widely used common name, or even create a genus page Eupatorium still keeping the common name article for the better known species. I would try and keep close related plants together within a single article, just because the amount that can be written about the more obscure ones is probably limited. I'll keep an eye out and help you format as you create pages. Do not worry about it if text on the pages get moved around; old pages make useful redirects in most cases. - Marshman


Another comment - the photo on this page had moved in the current version, so that it overlaps the right hand column. I'm just starting to learn pictures, so I have no idea how to fix it. The photo is simply too big for the left column. Even though the column appears wider below the menu choices, it isn't. This pushes the image over into the right column. I hate to make such a nice image smaller. I tried to put it at the top of the right column, but that somehow bumped the chart into the left side, so I restored it. Any help? Pollinator 18:31, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I'm interested in these plant pages too, and have experience with HTML, so I can work with you on your picture formatting. Why are you moving it around? I can see the trouble you got into, but I'm unclear where you want to move it to. Does it not appear correct on your browser? If not, I can reduce image and link to a larger version for close inspection - Marshman 20:57, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I moved it in an attempt to stop the photo from covering part of the chart (completely blocking the view). It didn't work, so I put it back. The photo is too wide for the left hand column. Could the chart on the right be narrowed to expand the left column. Pollinator 21:28, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)

You must have your screen resolution set very low. I reduced the size of the image a bit. See if it works better now. Since the right column is all text, it cannot easily be narrowed without putting the whole page in HTML (not a good idea I think). However, the right column can be moved down with the figure placed at the very top of the page, if the two are going to conflict. - Marshman 21:38, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I see where the problem originated. Someone added too many common names to the genus Eupatorium, making the right column much larger. I can fix. - Marshman 21:43, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
OK, you are right on that. I reset the screen resolution to 1024 - 768 from 800 - 600 and it now all fits on the page. However the type is now so small I have trouble reading it, so I'm going to have to go back to the other. I guess it's time to spring for a newer, bigger monitor, eh? I got a new computer, but kept the old monitor to save money.... Pollinator 21:51, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC) BTW, Marshman, I like what of your work I've seen. Pollinator 21:51, 21 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Thanks! I look forward to your providing more text and pictures on the plant articles. This stuff is much more fun when it is collaborative. We hope to have things work in all settings, but the problem was primarily that the common names in the boxed column had gotton too long for some species. I was able to narrow that column by dropping some down and deleting others (there was alot of redundancy. You can be a tester for the 800 wide screens! - Marshman 02:47, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)


1) A number of old style names, not based on the name of the type genus, are defined in the IBCN as valid alternate familial names. Compositae is one of these. (Also Umbelliferae, Cruciferae, Guttiferae, Palmae, Labiatae, ...)

So we should remove the "formerly" ? - Marshman 23:02, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

2) The classification is at best dated. (I'm not sure that there was ever a consensus for restricting Cichorioideae to a single tribe.) See

3) The "flowers" of Compositae are capitula (sing. capitulum), which are a subset of inflorescences. They differ from other capitula, such as those of clovers (Trifolium) in having a common receptacle. I'm not sure how to distinguish them from the flower heads of teasels (Dipsacus) or eryngos (Eryngium). (The capitulum of a composite is homologous to the inflorescence of other flowering plants; I'm not so certain the receptacle is homologous to the receptacle of other flowering plants.) (A partial model - which I have no real evidence for - of the evolution of the capitulum is to take an umbellate inflorescence such as those of Umbellifereae (Apiaceae) and reduce the lengths of the pedicles so that the flowers attach directly to the end of the peduncle.)

S.R. Hinsley,

Link suggestions

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Tip: Some people find it helpful if these suggestions are shown on this talk page, rather than on another page. To do this, just add {{User:LinkBot/suggestions/Asteraceae}} to this page. — LinkBot 10:40, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Use of "subdivision" in botanical taxoboxes

"Subdivisions" is being used in an apparently colloquial but confusing way to denote groupings within the family. As this term has a precise meaning as a specific taxonomic rank above the level of family in botanical nomenclature (a "division" is equivalent to a "phylum", and "subdivision" to "subphylum") I would suggest finding another term to use. MrDarwin 23:21, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I would advise you to bring this discussion to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of Life JoJan 14:02, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I see it has already been moved to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of Life/taxobox usage JoJan 14:08, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

"The most common characteristic"

"The most common characteristic of all these plants is an inflorescence or flower head". What does "most common" mean? There are 7 characteristics listed as equally common in that they all have them. Nurg 01:54, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Second largest family?

According to the Flowering plant article, Asteraceae is the largest family of flowering plants. Of course the numbers are estimates (and thus the exact ranking by size is probably arguable), but some reference should probably be cited for the number of species and ranking with respect to other families. MrDarwin 14:29, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Check at Number of Orchids JoJan 16:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The Angiosperm Phylogeny Website and Judd & al. agree that Asteraceae are more diverse than Orchidaceae (23,000 vs 20,000 APW, 23,000 vs 19,000 Judd). Aelwyn 17:00, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Meanwhile the Orchidaceae article asserts that that family is the largest. The "largest" or "second largest" family claim should probably be qualified wherever it appears. MrDarwin 17:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Opinion of the eminent botanist Mark W. Chase : "The family Orchidaceae is one of the two largest families of flowering plants; the other, Asteraceae (Compositae), is sometimes stated to be the larger, but this point has been hotly debated over the years. No clear resolution is in sight, so my first sentence is one that systematists on both sides of the issue can agree. Among monocotyledons, the orchids (with perhaps as many as 25,000 species) have about twice the number of species as the next largest family, Poaceae (Graminae)." CLASSIFICATION OF ORCHIDACEAE IN THE AGE OF DNA DATA JoJan 20:58, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


Recognition has not been universal. The commonest variation has been to segregate Cichoriaceae, but I've seen others. I don't know of any recent classification that breaks up Asteraceae, but a quick Google found a paper as late as 1987 that recognised Cichoriaceae. Lavateraguy 13:50, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Someone might like to worry about the duplications here. Lavateraguy 14:19, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I use footnotes like "Johnsson & al., 2000" and full citations in the references, like "John Johnsson, Jack Jackson, Peter Peterson. 2000 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet All your base press, Arebelongtous, Wonderland". Or at least I think I should, but I prefer to let this nuisance to others (a wikidragon? perhaps...). Bye! Aelwyn 16:30, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Can somebody explain to me what means poorly supported branching because I'am pretty bad at biological terms in english language? --Pinky sl (talk) 08:00, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

It's not completely clear what's being referred to - I'd guess that they're bootstrap values, but they could be jackknife values or Bayesian posterior probabilities. Regardless of what the numbers are, what is meant that the evidence for those nodes in the cladogram is insufficient for us to be confident that the nodes are real. Lavateraguy (talk) 10:52, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
In general, if a branch is "poorly supported" it is better to have wikipedia make a slightly more general claim until further research produces clearer results. So I'd tend to rewrite

plant a

plant b

plant c


plant a

plant b

plant c

An example is at angiosperm - although we use text rather than a cladogram there, we do say that relationships are unclear between the 5 groups (monocots, eudicots, magnoliids, Chloranthales, and Ceratophyllum), rather than discussing tentative branches among those 5. How/whether all this applies to Asteraceae is less clear to me. For one thing, in the Asteraceae there is (I suspect) more uncertainty about whether research has identified the correct groups, so the branching pattern might be the least of the worries. Kingdon (talk) 16:37, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, --Pinky sl (talk) 18:40, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


I believe that the Fibonacci phyllotaxis most noticeable in sunflowers is a common characteristic of nerly all Asteraceae. Should that not be mentioned in the article? ("Nearly all" because in addition to Fibonacci numbers (1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,...), doubled Fibonacci numbers (2,4,6,10,16,26,...) or Lucas numbers (1,3,4,7,11,18,...) are occasionally seen.)--Noe (talk) 21:10, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, as noted in the Phyllotaxis article, the subject is somewhat controversial. Just speaking anecdotally, without having read much on it, plants are often not quite as tidy as these mathematical models are. Having said all that, I suppose it could go in this article if there are sources to back up its wide application to this family (and not other families). Otherwise it really fits better in articles like Phyllotaxis. There's quite a bit of diversity in Asteraceae leaf patterns, from the basal rosette of a dandelion or golden ragwort, the opposite leaves of Eupatorium perfoliatum, etc. I see that Espeletia is described as having leaves in a "dense spiral pattern", but there aren't any details there. Kingdon (talk) 02:04, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Parastichy counts following the Fibonacci series are in no sense unique to the Asteraceae; even pine cones have them.--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:22, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
They are not unique to Asteraceae; you find them in pine cones, pineaplles, houseleek, and (in a less striking form) in leaf arrangements along branches or stalks of many trees and other plants. However, most families, they are far from universal, and in e.g. corn (maize) and cacti, you have grid-like patterns, and somtimes spirals, but no preference Fibonacci numbers.
In Asteraceae, it is my impression that Fibonacci phyllotaxis is nearly universal (though some of the descriptions one can find of these patterns are too simplistic). I do not suggest a læengthy discussion of this in this article, but a brief mention and a link to Phyllotaxis. But a source supporting my "impression" would be good - I don't have one at hand.--Noe (talk) 08:21, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Capital letters

I'm fine with decapitalizing the common names. However, I reverted those edits because they also decapitalized image names, which removes the images. Image names are case sensitive, and the image names do not show, unless they are included in the HTML text for the caption. In addition, I reverted the delinking of Tagetes patula because the reason made no sense. --KP Botany (talk) 18:35, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

change reference format to in text citation


  • Panero J. L. and V. A. Funk. 2002. Toward a phylogenetic subfamilial classification for the Compositae (Asteraceae). Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 115: 909-922.
  • Stevens, P. F. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website
  • Usher, George (1966). A dictionary of botany, including terms used in bio-chemistry, soil science, and statistics. Princeton: Van Nostrand. LCCN 6625447 Check |lccn= value (help).
  • Judd & al. Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach
  • International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (VIENNA CODE) Art. 18.5
  • ITIS report 2002-09-10
  • Walters, Dirk R. and David J. Keil (1996). Vascular plant taxonomy. 4th ed. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Dubuque, Iowa.
  • Wagner,W.L., D.R. Herbst, and S.H. Sohmer. 1990. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai‘i, Vol. I. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 988 pp.
  • D. J. N. Hind, C. Jeffrey & G. V. Pope (eds.), Advances in Compositae systematics. - Royal Bot. Gardens, Kew, 469 pp., 1995
  • Odom, Richard B. (2000). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. W.B. Saunders Company. pp. 1135 pages. ISBN 0721658326. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)

Top clutter

If the suggested translation from the Spanish Wikipedia article has been made, I find no indication one way or the other, there is no need to retain the translate suggestion template at the top of the article. If it is merely a suggestion, it would go better under discussion. Either way templated editing suggestions inserted at the top of articles strike me as so much clutter. J.H.McDonnell (talk) 12:34, 17 May 2011 (UTC)