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Trees or shrubs, rarely sub- shrubs, without latex; leaves alternate; heads discoid and one-flowered, or radiate, or homogamous and bilabiate, or homogamous and isomorphic (ligulate or bilabiate) or heteromorphic (ligulate and bilabiate), 1–150 florets; involucre cylindrical or hemispherical or campanulate, bracts imbricate but sometimes subequal; receptacle naked or hirsutulous, may be smooth or pitted or foveolate or clavate; florets perfect, corollas zygomorphic or bilabiate (some actinomorphic in Quelchia), red or reddish, pale yellow, or white with apices lilac, magenta, or red, outer lip 3-lobed, inner lip 2-cleft (rarely 3-cleft) and coiled or flexuous; anther acute or acuminate at apex, theceae bases calcarate and tailed (caudate), the tails long and free or connate with adjacent anthers; pollen prolate to spheroidal-subprolate, microechinate, echinate, or almost psilate; styles bifid, white, red or purple, branches dorsally smooth, erect, ascending, or recurved; achenes prismatic or cylindrical or cylindrical-turbinate, glabrous to densely pubescent; pappus of setae, multiseriate or few-seriate.

Diagnostic Features

Woody plants with zygomorphic or bilabiate corollas; 2-cleft inner lip that is often much coiled and so is shorter than outer lip; and styles bifid and dorsally smooth.

Geographic distribution

Predominantly on the Guiana Shield with one monotypic genus in the Dominican Republic.