Abstract Many Asteraceae species have been introduced into horticulture as ornamental or interesting exotic plants. Some of them, including Solidago and Galinsoga, are now aggressive weeds; others such as Ratibida are not. Special modifications of the ovule tissue and the occurrence of nutritive tissue have been described in several Asteraceae species, including invasive Taraxacum species. This study examined whether such modifications might also occur in other genera. We found that the three genera examined - Galinsoga (G. quadriradiata), Solidago (S. canadensis, S. rigida, S. gigantea) and Ratibida (R. pinnata) - differed in their nutritive tissue structure. According to changes in the integument, we identified three types of ovules in Asteraceae: “Taraxacum” type (recorded in Taraxacum, Bellis, Solidago, Chondrilla), with well-developed nutritive tissue having very swollen cell walls of spongy structure; “Galinsoga” type (in Galinsoga), in which the nutritive tissue cells have more cyto-plasm and thicker cell walls than the other integument parenchyma cells, and in which the most prominent character of the nutritive tissue cells is well-developed rough ER; and “Ratibida” type (in Ratibida), in which the nutritive tissue is only slightly developed and consists of large highly vacuolated cells. Our study and future investigations of ovule structure may be useful in phylogenetic analyses.
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