A survey of ontogeny cypsela characters contributing to the infrafamilial characterization of Asteraceae.
Structural features of cypsela are important to certain tribes of Asteraceae; thus, the ontogeny of the fruit (only the pericarp) of 10 weedy Asteraceae species was determined concerning the contribution to increase the knowledge of the fruit development in Asteraceae. The species analyzed are Conyza bonariensis L. (Cronquist.), Cosmos sulphureus Cav., Eclipta alba L. Hassk., Elephantopus mollis Kunth., Emilia sonchifolia L. DC., Galinsoga quadriradiata Ruiz & Pav., Erechtites valerianifolius (Wolf) DC., Parthenium hysterophorus L., Praxelis clematidea (Griseb) R.M. King & H. Rob and Sigesbeckia orientalis L. The mesocarp in the cypsela structure shows variation in the number of layers, the cell layer arrangement of the sclerenchyma and parenchyma, and the presence of phytomelanin that is especially striking. The mesocarp traits of Heliantheae alliance species are homogeneous, and it has been suggested that the derived character phytomelanin may not have the same evolutionary history in species belonging to the same tribe. It is noteworthy that Cichorioideae cypsela has the same general structure as that of Asteroideae.