Shrubs or herbs without latex; leaves alternate; heads, radiate, disciform or discoid, small to large (>100 flowers); involucre cylindric, campanulate or cup-shaped, bracts imbricate without hyaline margins, generally in several rows; receptacle naked or paleate; corollas yel- low, pink, violet or white; ray corolla when present, strap-shaped with three lobes; outer florets often filiform, tubular; disc corollas with five lobes of equal size, lobes mostly shorter than wide; anther apical appendage acute, thecae normally without spurs (ecalcarate) but gener- ally with distinct tails (caudate); pollen spinulose, cave- ate with one baculate layer; styles slender or thick, apex rounded to acute, with short acute or obtuse sweeping hairs above or extending below where the style divides, style branches recurving at maturity; achenes generally homomorphic, elliptic, prismatic or quadrangular, often with glandular hairs and/or non-myxogenic twin hairs, walls without phytomelanin; pappus of capillary bristles, of bristles and scales, of scales only, of awns, or absent.

Diagnostic Features

Inulineae: Heads usually radiate and yellow-flowered; achenes with elongated crystal in each epidermal cell; and acute sweeping hairs on style branches.

Plucheinae: heads often pur- ple-flowered, disciform with filiform; tubular florets; achenes without large epidermal crystal; and style fre- quently with obtuse sweeping hairs extending below style bifurcation.

Geographic distribution

Inulinae: Mainly Mediterranean, Saharo-Sindian, but also in East Africa.

Plucheinae: Warm climate areas worldwide.