Description: Mostly perennial or annual herbs, [or rarely shrubs].
Leaves opposite or whorled, simple, margins entire, toothed to pinnatifid; stipules absent.
Inflorescences cymose heads. Flowers zygomorphic, bisexual or functionally female, with involucral bracts at the base of the head, and each flower with an epicalyx and subtended by a receptacle bract, usually 4- or 5-merous. Epicalyx usually present. Calyx cupular, often cut into segments. Corolla funnel-shaped, 4- or 5-lobed, or 2-lipped. Stamens 2–4, epipetalous, alternating with the petals; anthers 2-locular, dehising by longitudinal slits. Ovary inferior with a single pendent ovule; stigma simple or 2-lobed.
Fruit dry, indehiscent.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 11 genera, 350 species, cosmopolitan, especially Eurasia, Africa. Australia: 2 genera, 4 species, all States except Qld & N.T.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Dipsacaceae, Order: Dipsacales)
Text by L. Retter
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Plants thistle-like, spiny; involucral bracts spiny||Dipsacus|
|Plants not spiny: involucral bracts leafy||Scabiosa|