Biennial, perennial or annual herbs. Cymes elongating in fruit, usually terminal, ebracteate, Calyx 5-partite, lobes in fruit stellately spreading. Corolla rotate or funnel-form with a short tube. Throat scales present. Stamens included; anthers small. Nutlets 4, ovoid to ± globose. Dorsal surface depressed forming a raised margin or not. Margin glochidiate. Gynobase narrow conical to ± pyramidal, with or without awn coherent to the persistent style.
Although the Med. Chechlist (Greuter et al. 1:75-81.1984) takes an extremely wide view of Cynoglossum (including Mattiastrum, Paracaryum and Solenanthus), I prefer to take the narrower circumscription adapted by Brand.