Annual, biennial or perennial herbs, glabrous or hairy with simple hairs. Leaves pinnate, rarely simple or entire. Racemes usually many flowered, flexuose in fruit, ebracteate. Flowers small to large, white or violet-pinkish, rarely yellowish; pedicels filiform, lengthening in fruit, erect or upcurved. Sepals equal, inner subsaccate at base. Petals often about twice as long as the sepals, rarely abortive, obovate, clawed. Stamens 6, rarely 2 or more abortive; filaments not appendaged. Lateral nectar glands semi-annular or annular; middle absent rarely present. Ovary linear or narrowly oblong, few to many ovuled; stigma ± bibbed, short. Siliquae linear, compressed, bilocular, dehiscent; valves smooth, usually opening suddenly and coiling spirally upwards, thus flinging the seeds to some distance; septum membranous; seeds uniseriate, many, oblong or suborbicular, flattened, brown.