Herbs or undershrubs, rarely shrubs, with simple and stellate hairs. Leaves petiolate, alternate, serrate, stipulate. Inflorescence an axillary or antiphyllous, 1-5 (-8)- flowered, shortly pedunculate cyme. Flowers small, subsessile or shortly pedicellate, tetra or pentamerous, bracteate. Sepals 5, rarely 4, free, valvate. Petals 5, rarely 4, free, mostly imbricate, neither pitted nor glandular at the base. Stamens 8-20 or many, free, anthers versatile. Carpels 2-5, syncarpous; ovary superior, 2-5-loculed, each locule many ovuled; style simple, stigma simple, papillate, undulate or crenate. Capsule elongate, linear-oblong or sub-globose and muricate, 2-5-loculed, locules aseptate or transversely septate between the seeds, loculicidally dehiscent. Seeds pendulous or horizontal, endospermous, embryo curved with cordate, foliaceous cotyledons.