Annual to perennial herbs (more rarely subshrubs, shrubs, rosette shrubs and rosette treelets) with latex; leaves alter- nate frequently forming a rosette; heads ligulate (except for Gundelia and Warionia), homogamous, with one to over 600 florets but mostly with a few dozen; involucre cylindric, mostly differentiated into a few imbricate outer series of bracts and a longer inner series (rarely uniseri- ate), bracts with or without hyaline margin; receptacle areolate or alveolate, naked (rarely with scales or bristles); corolla predominantly of some shade of yellow or blue, with 5-toothed ligule, perfect; anther apical appendage elongate, smooth, filaments smooth, thecae calcarate and caudate; pollen echinolophate or echinate; style slender, usually with long, slender branches, sweeping hairs on the shaft and branches; achenes cylindrical, or fusiform to slenderly obconic, mostly ribbed, sometimes compressed or flattened, apically truncate, attenuate or beaked, often somehow sculptured, mostly glabrous, sometimes papil- lose or hairy, rarely villose, frequently heteromorphic; pappus of scales or scabrid to barbellate or plumose bris- tles, sometimes absent.

Diagnostic Features

Almost exclusive presence of ho- mogamous capitula with 5-dentate, ligulate flowers; and exclusive presence of lactiferous canals in both the sub- terranean and aerial parts.

Geographic distribution

Nearly global with centers of diversity in the Mediterranean area and north temperate climates.