Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Poaceae - Angiosperm Families

Table of Contents


An angiosperm is a diverse group. They have stems, roots and leaves and can bear flowers. They have seeds enclosed within the ovary. The angiosperm family includes:

  • Asteraceae
  • Brassicaceae
  • Poaceae

Let us have a detailed look at the different angiosperm families.


Characteristics of Asteraceae

They have the following characteristic features:

  1. These are herbs, shrubs or trees. Most of them are xerophytes, hydrophytes and semi-aquatic.
  2. Taproots are modified into tubers.
  3. The stem might be erect, hairy, woody or prostrate. It might sometimes contain latex.
  4. The leaves may be radical, petiolate, exstipulate,
  5. Flowers are tubular or ligulate, bisexual or unisexual, usually dithecous, filament free with united anthers.
  6. The androecium is absent.
  7. The gynoecium is either absent or present.
  8. The seed is endospermic.
  9. The fruit produced is a cypsela.

Economic Importance Of Asteraceae


Family Asteraceae is an important source of food. The leaves and roots of a few angiosperms such as Lactuca sativa and Helianthus tuberosus are edible.


The seeds of angiosperms are an important source of oil.


Most of the plants belonging to the Asteraceae family have medicinal values. For eg., Solidago is used for dropsy, artemisia yields santonin, and the juices and roots of a few plants are used in bowel disorders and have a cooling effect.


Taraxacum and Solidago laevenworthii are important sources of rubber.


The capitula of Chrysanthemum roseum is dried and its powder is used as an insecticide.

Also Read: Angiosperms


Characteristics of Brassicaceae

Following are the important characteristics of the family Brassicaceae:

  1. These are generally herbs, annuals, biennials, or shrubs.
  2. The taproots are swollen due to food storage.
  3. The stem is erect, herbaceous, and rarely woody.
  4. Leaves are alternate, opposite, simple and exstipulate

Economic Importance of Brassicaceae


The plants of this family are cultivated as vegetable crops. For eg., Brassica oleracea var. Botrytis, Brassica oleracea var. Caulorapa.


The seeds of the plants of these families are used to extract mustard oil that is extensively used in cooking. For eg., Brassica campestris

The cake left behind after the extraction of oil is used as cattle feed and fertilizer.


The leaves and shoots of plants are used in asthma, cough and bleeding piles. They also act as an appetizer and stimulants. The seeds are used to treat bronchitis and fever. The flowers help in paralysis and impotency.


Few plants such as Iberis amara, Hesperis, and Alyssum, bear beautiful flowers and are used for ornamental purposes.


Characteristics of Poaceae

Following are the important characteristics of the Poaceae family:

  1. They might be herbs or shrubs, annuals or perennials, and sometimes tree-like.
  2. The roots can be fibrous, adventitious, branched or stilt.
  3. The stem may be underground as in rhizomes, cylindrical with conspicuous nodes and internodes, woody or herbaceous.
  4. The leaves are alternate, simple, exstipulate, and distichous. The leaf base forms a tubular sheath.
  5. The seeds are endospermic and monocotyledonous.
  6. Fruits include caryopsis, nut and berry.

Economic Importance of Poaceae


The plants of this family are an important food source. For eg., Oryza sativa, Triticum aestivum, Avena sativa (oats), and Zea mays (Maize).


Grasses such as Panicum, Cynodon dactylon, Cymbopogon, and Poa are used as fodder.


Jaggery and sugar are obtained from Saccharum officinarum.

Building Material

Species of Bambusa are used for scaffolding and thatching of huts.

Aromatic Plants

Many kinds of grass such as Vitiveria zizanioides yield scented oil from its roots. The roots are also used to weave curtains.


Plants such as Phragmites karka, Claviceps purpurea, Cymbopogon schoenanthus have medicinal values.

Also Read: Solanaceae, Fabaceae, and Liliaceae

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