Asteraceae - Tribe Senecioneae

Asteridae: Asterales. The Senecioneae are a tribe of closely related genera that can be recognized most readily by the nature of the pappus and the involucral bracts or phyllaries. The phyllaries are basically in one well developed, often partially or wholly connate series of equal length that closely envelope the head. Frequently there are a few, very much smaller and mostly randomly distributed, often necrotic-tipped bracts near the base of the main series. The pappus is of fine, soft, often pure white capillary hairs. Heads may be either discoid or radiate.

Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.

Senecio confusus, orange-flowered groundsel. This radiate species has pure white capillary pappus that can be seen between the lobes of the partially connate major series of uniform phyllaries. Note also the few scattered necrotic bracts towards the base of the cup formed by the primary phyllaries.
Senecio hydrophylloides. Note the white capillary pappus, the more or less connate series of equal primary phyllaries and a few scattered basal, somewhat abortive ones.
Senecio mikanioides, German ivy, Italian ivy.
Erechtites valerianaefolia, fireweed. This discoid species features pink pappus visible between the lobes of the phyllaries on the head at the right. Note the well-developed series of equal connate phyllaries and a few very small scattered ones at the base of the head.
Emilia fosbergii, Flora's paintbrush. In this discoid species the phyllaries are strongly connate and strictly in one equal series. An old head showing reflexed involucral bracts and a naked receptacle is visible in the lower left. Mature fruits with soft and exceedingly fine white pappus hairs are also apparent.
Emilia sonchifolia, Flora's paint brush. Herb from tropical Asia, with lavender to pale purplish clusters of flowers resembling a small paint brush. Sometimes used for food and medicine in Asia.

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