Asteraceae - Tribe Cichorieae

The Cichorieae (Lactuceae) are a tribe of closely related genera of the sunflower family that are easily recognized because the flowering heads are composed of wholly of ligulate florets that are usually 5-lobed. Another very distinguishing feature is the milky sap. Although not apparent without magnification, the pollen is distinctive in that the spines are more or less restricted to discrete ridges or flanges on the surface of the grain. In other members of the family the spines are distributed more or less evenly over the surface of the pollen grain. The pappus usually consists of scales or stiff hairs.

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

Chondrilla juncea, skeleton weed.  Note head consisting entirely of ligulate florets with 5-lobed corollas.
Cichorium intybus, chicory. Note the presence of only ligulate florets in the head. The corollas are 5-lobed. Dark purple anther columns, white pollen and the bifid style tips are also visible.
Hieracium albiflorum, white-flowered hawkweed, Mt. Spokane, WA, July, 2003.
Hypochaeris radicata, hairy cat's ear, gosmore, 1-3, Corvallis, OR, Oct., 2005.
Lactuca serriola., lettuce. Note the presence of all ligulate florets and the subtending involucral bracts or phyllaries. White sap that characterizes this tribe can be seen oozing from a cut stem. Some Cichorieae such as this one have a beaked achene that bears persistent bristle like pappus segments that act like a parachute to disperse the fruits (right photo).
Reichardia tingitana
Sonchus oleraceus, common sow thistle, Corvallis, OR, June 7, 2005.
Taraxacum officinale, dandelion. This common lawn weed has the pappus very effectively modified for wind dispersal of the fruit. Note the lack of chaff or receptacular bracts on the receptacle.
Youngia japonica, oriental hawksbeard. Notice the 5-lobed ligulate corollas on all the florets in the head.

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