Asteraceae are probably the most well-known plants in the local latitudes, since most species occur in the forest and on the meadow. Many of them are known as medicinal, but also spice and even vegetable plants.


The daisy family (Asteraceae) is the largest family found under the order Asteraceae (Asterales). This order is the angiosperm plants (Magnoliopsida). Of these, about 10% of all species belong to the daisy family. The approximately 1,700 genera with 24,000 species are distributed all over the world except Antarctica. Here in Europe it is one of the most species-rich plant families:

  • many types are used
  • as a vegetable or salad
  • as a spice or medicinal plant
  • extraction of vegetable oil
  • many popular ornamental plants


The daisy family is further subdivided into twelve lower classifications. In some of these classifications we find plants that are very familiar to us, such as various types of vegetables, herbs or perennials. Other classifications are not known here at all, since they are less interesting for the garden, or occur on other continents and have not yet found their way into the local gardens:


The classification Asteroideae is the largest subcategory of the daisy family with about 16,200 species. These include many well-known medicinal and spice plants, which are characterized by the fact that they mostly grow as annuals and herbaceous. But there are also those that are woody or succulent. The cup-shaped flowers are surrounded by bracts:

  • Ambrosia dumosa
  • Astern (Aster)
  • Buschige Kapringelblume (Dimorphotheca sinuata)
  • Kapkörbchen (Osteospermum)
  • Margerite (Leucanthemum vulgare)
  • Nodding bidens (Bidens cernuus)
  • Ringelblume (Calendula)
  • Sonnenblume (Helianthus annuus)
  • Studentenblume (Tagetes)
  • Traumkraut (Calea ternifolia)

The real arnica (Arnica montana), wormwood (Artemisia absinthicum), tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), real chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Jerusalem artichoke or earthen pear (Helianthus tuberosus) also belong to this largest classification.


The plants of this subfamily are mainly found in South America. These are trees that can grow up to 30 meters high, shrubs and annual or perennial herbs. Although the subfamily is very broadly structured, it is almost unknown in the local latitudes:

  • Arnaldoa macbrideana
  • Chuquiraga jussieui
  • C. oppositifolia
  • C. spinosa
  • Dasyphyllum
  • D. diacanthoides
  • D. lanceolatum
  • Schlechtendalia luzulaefolia


The Carduoideae classification includes various types of thistles or the knapweeds (Centaurea). This also includes the cornflower (Cyanus segetum), which is well-known to many gardeners. Also different types of vegetables. The distribution is not so large here in the northern hemisphere, many of the plants of this subgenus can be found in North Africa and Eurasia:

  • herbaceous plants
  • usually annual
  • cup-shaped tubular flowers

Well-known plants are for example

  • Artischocke (Cynara scolymus)
  • Bitterdistel (Cnicus Blessed)
  • Color thistle (Carthamus L.)


The plants of this subfamily of the daisy family were called ligulates in earlier times. There are about 3600 species worldwide, some of which are also known in the local latitudes. The mostly herbaceous plants have a milky sap that escapes when parts of the plant are removed. In the plants occurring in Central Europe, the cup-shaped flowers consist only of ray florets:

  • Chicoree (Cichorium intybus var. foliosum)
  • Endiviensalat (Cichorium endivia)
  • Gartensalat (Lactuca sativa)
  • Haferwurzel (Tragopon porrifolium)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Schwarzwurzeln (Scorzonera)
Note: The term lettuce is actually colloquial and refers to the garden lettuce or garden lettuce.


The Corymbioideae are stemless, monoecious, herbaceous and perennial plants that are only up to 60 centimeters high. They are related to the daisies (Bellis), which in turn belong to the Asteroideae classification.


This classification is divided into six genera, the approximately 90 species are found mainly in America to Argentina and the Caribbean. These are shrubs and trees but also some perennial herbs. The genera do not occur in our latitudes.


The plant from this subfamily consists of only a single genus. This is widespread in the Middle East and North Africa in dry semi-deserts. The herbaceous plant grows only a few centimeters high, the leaves are bare and arranged in a rosette. The inconspicuous flowers hardly come out of the ground.


Unfortunately, there are still no known indications for this classification in the German and English databases.


The best-known species of the Mutisioideae genera, which are predominantly found in Australia, Asia and Africa, are the varieties of the graceful gerbera (Gerbera). This is one of the most popular cut flowers worldwide, but can also be cultivated as a houseplant in the local latitudes:

  • the picture Rhizome
  • perennial herbaceous plant
  • leaves in rosettes
  • cup-shaped single flowers
  • many different hybrids on the market


This classification has only one tribe, which consists of six other genera. Not much is known about the plants in this group.


The plants in this classification, divided into ten genera, are small trees, shrubs or vines. The flowers are densely packed to open and look like a brightly colored hairy pompom. The genera that are predominantly native to Brazil include, for example:

  • Stifftia chrysantha
  • Stifftia fruticosa
Note: The plants of the classifications Stifftioideae and Barnadesioideae are only known by the botanical name and do not have a German name.


The approximately 24 counted species of this low classification are mainly found in Guyana and Brazil, but are also widespread in Asia and the Himalayas. The greatest feature of these plants are the bare-headed stem branches, which only hint at the presence of a flower.

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