Monday, February 17, 2014

Botany picture #141: Scabiosa ochroleuca

Scabiosa ochroleuca (Dipsaceae), Botanic Garden of Halle, Germany, 2007. The Dipsaceae are perhaps the plant family that the botanical novice in Europe will have the hardest time differentiating from the Asteraceae (daisies). They are somewhat related but not closely so, and they share capitulate inflorescences and even the transformation of the calyx into bristles or scales, as can be seen on the fruiting capitulum in the right lower corner. However, a closer look at the flowers will show crucial differences, for example free anthers in Dispaceae versus fused anthers in Asteraceae.

Here in Australia it isn't really an issue. There are no native Dipsaceae and only a few introduced ones. If anything, the daisies are confused with some Apiaceae.

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