The Goldenasters

goldenastersGoldenasters (and camphor weeds) in the usual sense are common wildflowers and weeds of the summer and fall floras of most of the mid and subtropical latitudes of North America. Based on cladistic/ phylogenetic analyses of chloroplast DNA data (Suh and Simpson 1990; Morgan and Simpson 1992; Lane et al. 1996) and morphological and anatomical data (Nesom 1991d; Semple 1996), there are seven genera (or possible genera) in the "goldenaster group": Bradburia Torr. & Gray, Croptilon Raf., Chrysopsis (Nutt.) Ell. nom. cons., Heterotheca Cass., Noticastrum DC., Pityopsis Nutt., Osbertia Greene, and Tomentaurum Nesom. These mostly herbaceous perennials are aster-like members of the Fam. Compositae: Tribe Astereae that have yellow rays (or sometimes purplish in Noticastrum or tinted reddish abaxially in Osbertia), yellow disc florets and fruits usually with a double pappus consisting of a short outer whorl of generally linear scales a millimeter or less in length and an inner whorl of long barbellate bristles about the length of the corolla tube. Nesom (1994a) proposed treating these genera as the subtribe Chrysopsidineae Nesom. Osbertia E.L. Greene was included in the subtribe by Nesom, although it has a single pappus whorl. Using chloroplast DNA data, Lane et al. (1996) did not find that it grouped with the other genera of the Chrysopsidineae included in their study. Thus, there is supporting evidence for the "goldenaster group" being treated as a subtribe with some questions about its membership.

Semple (1977) and Semple et al. (1980) provided the framework on which rests recognition of the three genera historically thought of as the goldenasters: Chrysopsis, Heterotheca, and Pityopsis. Contrasting revisions of the camphor weeds (H. sect. Heterotheca) were published by Wagenkneckt (1960) and Nesom (1990). Semple (1981) revised the eastern goldenasters (Chrysopsis sensu Semple 1977). The grass-leaved goldenasters Pityopsis were revised by Semple and Bowers (1985). The monospecific H. sect. Ammodia (Nutt.) was revised by Semple et al. (1988). The at-the-time monotypic Bradburia was studied by Semple and Chinnappa (1984). Zardini (1985) monographed Noticastrum in South America. Osbertia was reviewed by Turner and Sundberg (1986) supplemented with studies by Nesom (1991c) and García Arévalo (1991). The monotypic Tomentaurum was described by Nesom (1991b, 1991e). Semple (1996) presented an overview of all genera in the "goldenaster group" in a revision of Heterotheca sect. Phyllotheca, which includes the H. villosa complex.

-- Modified from Semple (1996)

Distribution Maps of Braduria, Chrysopsis, Heterotheca and Pityopsis


Publications on goldenasters by John C. Semple

Semple, J.C. 1977. Cytotaxonomy of Chrysopsis and Heterotheca (Compositae-Astereae): a new interpretation of phylogeny. Canad. J. Bot. 55: 2503-2513.

Semple, J.C. 1978a. A new species endemic to West Florida: Chrysopsis godfreyi (Compositae-Astereae). Canad. J. Bot. 56: 2092-2096.

Semple, J.C. 1978c. Application of the name Chrysopsis hyssopifolia Nutt. (Compositae) and a new name for an `old' species C. linearifolia. Brittonia 30: 492-495.

Semple, J.C., V. Blok and P. Heiman. 1980. Morphological, anatomical, habit and habitat differences among the goldenaster genera Chrysopsis, Heterotheca and Pityopsis(Compositae-Astereae). Can. J. Bot. 58: 147-163.

Semple, J.C. and C.C. Chinnappa. 1980a. Karyotype evolution and chromosome numbers in Chrysopsis (Nutt.) Ell. sensu Semple (Compositae-Astereae). Canad. J. Bot. 58: 164-171.

Semple, J.C. and C.C. Chinnappa. 1980b. Phylogenetic implications of meiosis in wild and cultivated interspecific hybrids in Chrysopsis (Compositae-Astereae): C. godfreyi (n = 5) gossypina ssp. cruiseana (n = 9) and C. godfreyi (n = 5) linearifolia (n = 5). Can. J. Bot. 58: 172-181.

Semple, J.C. 1981. A revision of the goldenaster genus Chrysopsis (Nutt.) Ell. nom. cons. Rhodora 83: 323-384.

Semple, J.C. 1983. Range expansion of Heterotheca camporum (Compositae-Astereae) in the southeastern United States. Brittonia 35: 140-146.

Semple, J.C. 1983. Treatment of Heterotheca. In: G.W. Argus and D.J. White, eds. Atlas of the rare vascular plants of Ontario. Part 2. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa.

Semple, J.C. and C.C. Chinnappa. 1984. Observations on the cytology, morphology and ecology of Bradburia hirtella (Compositae-Astereae). Syst. Bot. 9: 95-101.

Semple, J.C. and F. D. Bowers. 1985. A revision of the goldenaster genus Pityopsis Nutt. (Compositae: Astereae). Univ. Waterloo Biol. Ser. 28: 1-34.

Semple, J.C. and C.C. Chinnappa. 1986. The cytogeography of Chrysopsis mariana (Compositae): survey over the range of the species. Rhodora 88: 261-266.

Semple, J.C. 1987. New names, combinations and lectotypifications in Heterotheca (Compositae: Astereae). Brittonia 39: 379-386.

Semple, J.C. and F.D. Bowers. 1987. Cytogeography of Pityopsis Nutt., the grass-leaved goldenasters (Compositae: Astereae). Rhodora 89: 381-389.

Semple, J.C. 1988. Aster breweri, a new combination for a rayless aster based on Chrysopsis breweri (Compositae: Astereae). Syst. Bot. 13: 538-546.

Semple, J.C., C. Leeder, C. Leuty and L. Gray. 1988. Heterotheca sect. Ammodia(Compositae: Astereae): a multivariate study of H. oregona and specimens of Brewer's (golden)aster. Syst. Bot. 13: 547-558.

Semple, J.C. 1990. Neotypification of Amellus villosus, the identity of a Bradbury collection, and typification of some other goldenasters (Compositae: Astereae). Brittonia 42: 221-228.

Semple, J.C. 1992. The goldenasters of California, Heterotheca (Compositae: Astereae): new names and combinations. Phytologia 73: 449-455.

Semple, J.C., Jie Zhang and ChunSheng Xiang. 1993. Chromosome numbers in Fam. Compositae, Tribe Astereae. V. Eastern North American taxa. Rhodora 95: 234-253.

Semple, J.C. 1994. New combinations in Heterotheca villosa (Pursh) Shinners (Compositae: Astereae). Novon 4: 53-54.

Semple, J.C. 1996. A revision of Heterotheca sect. Phyllotheca (Nutt.) Harms (Compositae: Astereae): the prairie and montane goldenasters of North America. U.W. Biol. Series No. 37: 1-164. [abstract]

Delaney, K.R., R. P. Wunderlin and J.C. Semple. 2003. Chrysopsis delaneyi (Asteraceae, Astereae), another new species from peninsular Florida. Botanical Explorer 3: 1-40.

Semple, J.C.,and R.E. Cook. 2004. Chromosome numbers in Fam. Compositae, Tribe Astereae. VII. Some eastern North American and Eurasian taxa. Rhodora 106: 253-272.

Semple, J.C. 2004. Miscellaneous nomenclatural changes in Astereae (Asteraceae). Sida 21(2): 759-765.

Semple, J.C. 2006. Bradburia Torrey & A. Gray. pp. 211-212. In Flora North America Editorial Committee, eds. Flora of North America. Vol. 20. Asteraceae, Part. 2. Astereae and Senecioneae. Oxford University Press.

Semple, J.C. 2006. Chrysopsis (Nuttall) Elliott pp. 213-221. In Flora North America Editorial Committee, eds. Flora of North America. Vol. 20. Asteraceae, Part. 2. Astereae and Senecioneae. Oxford University Press.

Semple, J.C. 2006. Pityopsis Nuttall. pp. 222-226. In Flora North America Editorial Committee, eds. Flora of North America. Vol. 20. Asteraceae, Part. 2. Astereae and Senecioneae. Oxford University Press.

Semple, J.C. 2006. Heterotheca Cassini. pp. 230-256. In Flora North America Editorial Committee, eds. Flora of North America. Vol. 20. Asteraceae, Part. 2. Astereae and Senecioneae. Oxford University Press.

Semple, J.C. 2006. Quadruple, triple, double, and simple pappi in the goldenasters, subtribe Chrysopsidinae (Asteraceae: Astereae). Sida 22 (1): 503-531.

Semple, J.C. 2008. Cytotaxonomy and cytogeography of the goldenaster genus Heterotheca (Asteraceae: Astereae). Botany 86: 886-900. Plus supplements A and B on line.

Semple, J.C. 2012. Heterotheca pp. 350-352. In B. G. Baldwin et al. (eds.), The Jepson Manual, Vascular Plants of California. 2nd Ed. University of California Press., Berkeley

Semple, J.C. and F. Jabbour 2019.  Type specimens of Inula (Pityopsis) graminifolia (Asteraceae: Astereae).  Phytoneuron 2019-22. 1-9.

revised 3 May 2019 by J.C. Semple

© 2019 J.C. Semple, including all photographs unless otherwise indicated