A pollen study of 11 species distributed in three genera, Chrysolaena H. Rob., Echinocoryne H. Rob. and Stenocephalum Sch. Bip. belonging to the Vernoniinae subtribe was carried out to characterize the pollen of these species and evaluate their taxonomic position. The pollen grains were acetolysed, analyzed and illustrated using light microscopy. For further details of pollen surface and aperture, non-acetolysed pollen grains were analysed by means of scanning and transmition electron microscopy. The genera were separated by a pollen key in two major groups using organization and number of lacunae that form the lophate pattern. In the first group, Echinocoryne H. Rob. species have pollen grains with 30 lacunae and in a second group, Chrysolaena H. Rob. and Stenocephalum Sch. Bip. species with 29 lacunae. Echinocoryne H. Rob. species are palynologically homogenous and only Echinocoryne holosericea (Mart. ex DC.) H. Rob. and Echinocoryne schwenkiaefolia (Mart. ex DC.) H. Rob. can be separated from Echinocoryne pungens (Gardn.) H. Rob. and Echinocoryne stricta (Gardn.) H. Rob. The last two could not be distinguished using pollen characters. Our datashow that pollen characters alone are not enough to define the three genera.
Compositae; palynology; taxonomy; Vernoniinae