Baccharis (Compositae-Astereae) includes herbaceous perennials, shrubs, vines, and trees. It occurs throughout the warmer regions of North America and in Central America, in the West Indies, and in South America from sea level to over 5000 m elevation. The genus is morphologically diverse, and investigation of microcharacters is suggested to be crucial for future taxonomic work. Striking parallel evolution of habit characters was observed in different lineages, e.g., of dwarf procumbent shrubs of the alpine and nival vegetation zone, large shrubs of the cloud forest and ceja vegetation with large, pinnately veined leaves and corymbose capitulescences, and vines of cloud and rain forests at different elevations. Baccharis occurs throughout Bolivia, but is most abundant and species-rich at middle and high elevations of the Andes, especially in the Yungas, the Tucuman forest region, and the dry valley regions. Some species (e.g., Baccharis dracunculifolia, B. tola) are dominant elements of open, high altitude vegetation.
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