"Other Compositae"

Cirsium vulgare
© UofAz RAM 382

Tetradymia canescens

Encelia farinosa

The compopolitan sunflower family includes herbs, shrubs, and small trees. It is characterized by inflorescences (flowering heads) including many small individual flowers.

Pollen light micrograph:
The "Other Compositae" category, also called "Tubuliflorae," "Asteraceae undif." etc. includes the tricolporate and echinate grains not otherwise distinguishable (see list below). The wall may be simple, containing a single layer of collumellae, or it may be made be double. The number and size of the spines vary among taxa, and they may contain a layer of collumellae in their base. The furrow is typically well developed with a rigid and slightly roughened membrane. The pore is typically oriented transversely to the furrow. Generae and subfamilies that are routinely distinguished from the "Other Compositae" type include

Pollen scanning electron micrograph (SEM)
Pores in the spines are prominent at high magnification, and the underlying layers of collumellae are not visible, therefore a unobstructed view of the pore surface is visible.

Production and Dispersal:
Moderate production, low to moderate dispersal. Nonetheless the ubiquity of the plants producing this pollen makes it one of the most common pollen types in nearly all vegetation types of temperate regions.

Well preserved, and the characteristic grains are readily identified in a degraded state.

Fossil Occurrence:
One of the "big three" (with Gramineae and Chenopodiaceae) becoming abundant in the late Oligocene and Miocene of the temperate northern hemisphere.

    Carlquist, S. 1956. On the generic limits of Eriophyllum (Compositae) and related genera. Madrono 13: 226-239.

    Carlquist, S. 1958. Anatomy and Systematic Position of Centaurodendron and Yunquea (Compositae). Brittonia 10: 78-93.

    Carter, A. 1964. The Genus Alvordia (Compositae) of Baja California Mexico. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 30: 157-174.

    Elsik, William C. and Tomb, A. Spencer 1988. Fossil Compositae Pollen Morphotypes. 21st Annual Meeting of The American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists Inc.

    Felippe G. M.,M. L. S. Labouriau. 1964. Pollen grains of plants of the "Cerrado" 4 - Compositae- Tribus Heliantheae. An. da Acad. Brasileira de Ciencias,36:85-101.

    Hernandez, P.J. 1966. Notas palinologicas del Norte Argentino provincia Altoandina. I Compositae. Ameghiniana 4:305-347.

    Praglowski, J. and Grafstrom E. 1980. The pollen morphology of the tribe Calendulae with reference to taxonomy. Bot. Notiser 133: 177-188.

    Salgado-Labouriau, M.L. 1978. Compositae Versus Gramineae in Pollen Analysis The Palaeobotanist, vol. 25 pp. 439-447

    Salgado-Labouriau, M.L. 1982. On cavities in spines of Compositae Pollen. Grana 21: 97-102

    Salgado-Labouriau, M.L. 1982. Pollen Morphology of the Compositae of the Northern Andes. Pollen et Spores, vol.24, no.3-4

    Salgado-Ladourian, M.L. 1983. Key to the Compositae Pollen of the Northern Andes. Sociedad Venezolana de Ciencias Naturales

    Skvarla, J.J. and Turner, B.L. 1966. Systematic implications from electron microscopic studies of Composiae pollen - a review. Annals Missouri Botanical Garden 53: 220-256

    Stix, E. 1960. Pollenmorphologische untersuchungen an Compositen. Grana Palynological 2: 41-104

    Sullivan, V.I. 1975. Pollen and pollination in the genus Eupatorium (Compositae). Can J. BOtany 53: 582-589. Tsuchdy, R.H. and Scott, R.A. 1969. Aspects of palynology. Wiley Interscience.

Owen Davis 5/01