Asteraceae: Sunflower Family – Cichorieae (Dandelion) Tribe: Chicory & Lettuce
The Sunflower family is a very large family with over 25,000 members. Botanists subdivide the family into a number of tribes, of which 14 are present in Monterey County. The Cichorieae (Dandelion) tribe has several distinctive features. First, they all have stems with milky sap. Second, they do not have disk and ray flowers like typical daisies. Instead they have “ligules”, which resemble strap-like ray flowers. Unlike ray flowers, ligules have both male and female parts – a necessity for reproduction in the absence of disc flowers. A third difference is that ray flowers have 0–3 lobes at the tip; ligules have 5. This page covers a mixture of natives and non-natives, plus three relatives of cultivated lettuce.