There are c. 27,000 species in this family assigned to 1,765 genera, making it one of the largest plant families. The diversity of this group is pretty staggering, with representatives found worldwide, only absent from the Antarctic mainland. From annual herbs and arctic alpines to the narrowly endemic and threatened, arborescent Dendroceris of Chile.
We represent a reasonable amount of this diversity at the Botanic Garden, both in the Glasshouses and the Gardens. Here are a few:
As well as all these striking ornamental members of the family, it's also worth mentioning that many of them are familiar and important food crops. Both kinds of artichoke, Jerusalem (Helianthus tuberosus) and Globe (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) are in this family. The former has edible tubers containing inulin, broken down by bacteria in our large intestines yielding the familiar and rather antisocial side effects of eating these tubers!
Pop into the Botanic Garden over the next few weeks to see this family at its best.