Asterales /æstəˈreɪliːz/ is an order of dicotyledonous flowering plants that includes the large family Asteraceae (or Compositae) known for composite flowers made of florets, and ten families related to the Asteraceae.
The order is a cosmopolite (plants found throughout most of the world including desert and frigid zones), and includes mostly herbaceous species, although a small number of trees (such as the giant Lobelia and the giant Senecio) and shrubs are also present.
Asterales are organisms that seem to have evolved from one common ancestor. Asterales share characteristics on morphological and biochemical levels. Synapomorphies (a character that is shared by two or more groups through evolutionary development) include the presence in the plants of oligosaccharide inulin, a nutrient storage molecule used instead of starch; and unique stamen morphology. The stamens are usually found around the style, either aggregated densely or fused into a tube, probably an adaptation in association with the plunger (brush; or secondary) pollination that is common among the families of the order, wherein pollen is collected and stored on the length of the pistil....LESS
This volume covers the orders Boraginales, Garryales and Solanales (except Convolvulaceae) of the Lamiids (Asterids I) as well as three unplaced families of that clade, i.e. Vahliaceae, Icacinaceae and Metteniusaceae, and the orders Aquifoliales, Escalloniales, Bruniales, Dipsacales and Paracryphiales of the Campanulids (Asterids II). It is the first of two final volumes to (almost) complete the treatment of the Asterids, which started with Vol. VI (Cornales, Ericales, 2004) and continued with Vol. VII (Lamiales, 2004) and Vol. VIII (Asterales, 2007). The present volume provides descriptions for 35 families and altogether 340 genera, including three genera of somewhat uncertain family affiliation. It provides identification keys for families within orders and for all genera within families, and also discusses probable phylogenetic relationships. The wealth of information contained in this volume makes it an indispensable source for all those working in pure and applied plant sciences.