Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves usually alternate, stipulate, variously divided. Peduncles (1-) 2-flowered. Flowers often showy, regular, usually 5-merous. Petals alternating with 5 nectiferous glands. Stamens (5-) 10, staminodes occasional. Carpels usually 5, adnate, separating septifragally from the central axis at maturity. Ovary 5-lobed. Fruit schizocarpic, of 5 mericarps which remain attached to an elastically coiling stylar axis upwards; mericarps without apical pits.